The Best Diet and Wellbeing Books

When I am asked about my five stone weight loss transformation, people are naturally curious about how I did it and often want to know which plan followed. My simple answer is I chose a natural diet and reduced calories, the truth is I taught myself how to lose weight and created my own plan- and I did that by reading lots of diet, weight loss and wellness.

If like me, you have tried and failed before following all the usual plans and having tried everything are feeling a bit hopeless about it all, these are the books I read when creating my own plan and I honestly think they can be life changing. As Melissa Urban says in Food Freedom, we don’t just want weight loss, we want something more than that. So if you want more energy, to feel lighter, to eat well without feeling it is a struggle, then I really recommend having a look at these books. If I can do it, you can too! I’ve included amazon affiliate links here so you can click through and buy them. these are the best weight loss books I’ve read.

Before you pay out for another slimming club membership, buy this paperback which is on sale for just £3. That would only get you half a slimming club meeting. You’d barely have time to hear about Kayleigh’s off plan Nando’s in that time. It’s honestly amazing for changing how you think about eating, diet and weight loss!

“This clinically tested, comprehensive course based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques can provide a longer-term solution to your weight problems.

You’ll come to understand your own psychological blocks to managing weight and discover how to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Learn how you can:

– Develop the motivation to change your eating and activity
– Respond to emotional eating in a helpful way
– Work with the thoughts and emotions getting in the way of change
– Work out a simple, healthy and sustainable eating plan that fits with your daily routine
– Find easy ways to add more physical activity into your everyday life”

I LOVED it and it changed how I thought about LOTS of things, making it seem easy to lose weight! And such a bargain for £3! Find it on amazon here or click on the book cover.

My other favourite and another fasciating book is Food Freedom Forever. It is particularly useful if you are experiencing food sensitivies or have an idea that certain foods might not agree with you. There’s also a great strategy to follow when you feel like you have gone off the rails a little and want to reign things back in again which is REALLY useful.

“In Food Freedom Forever Melissa outlines a simple three-part plan that will help you to discover food freedom for yourself, no matter how out of control you feel. It will point you down a self-directed path that keeps you balanced, satisfied and healthy, without requiring that you obsess about food, count calories or starve yourself. By the last page, you’ll have a detailed plan for creating the perfect diet for you, finding your own healthy balance, and maintaining the kind of control that brings you real food freedom every day.”

Buy a copy on amazon here or click on the book cover.

Let me know how you get on with them!

The Best Natural Affordable Mascara

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What am I looking at though?

After this post in February, I continued my quest for a really, really  good natural mascara and bought the Sante Big Catwalk Lashes  on amazon here (affiliate link)  and I am genuinely thriled with it. It has a great big brush which was a bit tricky at first but after applying a couple of coats, I decided it was the best natural mascara I had tried.  I set to taking photographs immediately to show you all but it turns out taking photos of your mascara is not an easy task. Part of the problem is, to show the lashes off you kind of have to look up and to the side at the same time which makes you look like you are deep in contemplation and/or on the cusp of an existensial crisis. See what I mean?

Honestly, my camera roll looks like a theatre  flyer for some kind  an avant garde monologue where the whole play is just this one woman thinking about dusting that cobweb off the ceiling and whether she had eaten those hob knobs she bought at the Tesco Express last week. Seriously, my eyes are actually aching now after taking these photos. 20200219_133115

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OOh what time is it? Time for hob-knobs?

BUT the mascara is good! So, so good! Apparently the large brush works the brush is so effective because it can hold more product and you are meant to use the tip of the tip of the brush for smaller, fine lashes.

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20200219_113131It’s carmine free, plant-based, vegan and cruelty free too and  only £8.95 as well.

This affiliate link below will take you to amazon Sante Big Catwalk Lashes Mascara

 

There’s more natural make-up finds on this post here 

Right, back to my contemplating now. Dusting or hob-knobs?

https://amzn.to/2HBpD6v

 

 

 

 

My favourite natural make-up finds

When I had my hair dye allergy/chicken pox combo, I became super allergic to everything incuding nearly all of my make up. Even the hypo-allergenic  stuff would have my eyes streaming as soon as the mascara wand went near me.  After a good 18 months of searching and trying,  I finally have a full make up bag again.  All the products are natural and cruelty free and I haven’t reacted to any of them.

Quite a few people have asked me about make up as clean beauty can be tricky to find These are the non-toxic and natural products I use daily and I’ve linked all the make-up I use here including affiliate links for Amazon.

Baremineralsgetstarted

For foundation, I use bare minerals powder foundation. I began with the Original Foundation Get Started Kit in Golden Ivory which is on Amazon for £29.99

It comes with a little brush and is really easy to apply and I much prefer it to liquid foundation now especially as it covers up without looking unnatural and it also lessens the risk of projectile foundation hitting your clothes or wallpaper! I  use the primer  that comes with it as well, but I don’t use it around my eye wrinkles as it seems to really exaggerate them for some reason so I just the primer on my cheeks, chin, nose and forehead. It also comes with the mineral veil which gives a blurring effect.

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While I don’t miss dyeing my hair at  all, I do miss having my eyebrows tinted and found it hard to find a pencil that wasn’t too warm with my grey hair. This Sante Eyebrow Pencil in Brown No.2 is perfect and is on amazon for £8.95

benecoseyeshadow

I have been using benecos eye shadow which is really affordable and doesn’t irritate my eyes at all. I started off with this palette which has a good combination of colours but they do tons more. I had been buying the Benecos from a local health food store, but they stopped stocking so I now buy from either Ecco Verde or Amazon The Benecos Natural Eye Shadow, Beautiful Eyes is on Amazon for £6.95.

 

benecoseyeliner

I also love the Benecos liquid eyeliner which is super easy to use and lasts all day which is amazing as a  lot of natural products just don’t have the staying power. It’s  on Amazon here for £6.95. 

I like a lot of the benecos products as they are as cheap as Rimmel but so far  I haven’t liked any of their lipsticks : they just taste a bit weird and one of them I bought felt a bit granular. I also found them to be quite greasy and had no staying power at all. It is such a shame as they have amazing colours and are super cheap.

 

100pcPomegranateThe natural lipsticks I  do really love  are these 100 per cent pure Pomegranate oil anti-aging lipsticks. I have three of these so far. They’re more expensive than a high street lipstick at around £25 but they feel  so lovely, the colours are so pretty and they seem to last for ages. I think I am going to treat myself to the Black Rose one. I buy these from Ecco Verde

I’ve tried the cocoa matte ones too and even though I loved

the colours, they seemed to go a bit patchy after a while.

 

100pcLumizer

 

This luminizer is also by100 per cent pure.

It’s about £30 and is my absolute favourite product. Gives a lovely glow without being too sparkly and is 100 % plant pigments. 

I use  a big brush and just lightly brush cheeks, nose and a little bit of my forehead and and it gives a really lovely glow but without being sparkly/glittery. It looks super nice in photographs as well. I wore it for my graduation and even though I had barely slept the night before with all the excitement, my skin still looked super glowy.

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While I haven’t  met my dream mascara yet. (Has anyone? Ever?) I am pretty happy with the Benecos Maximum Volume Natural Mascara in Deep Black.

MaxvolBen

While I’m still on the hunt for the perfect mascara, you know, the one that gives you 3 foot lashes as thick as cables, makes you look like Audrey Hepburn. I’m happy with this one for now. I’ve also tried the Benecos Glamour Mascara  as well but that went a bit crumbly after a while – not a good look!

This one is pretty nice, easy to apply, has good staying power and it’s only £6.95 on amazon here.

 

Have you found any good natural make-up products? Let me know in the comments.

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Three Go Camping or how to share a tent with a dog

You see this tiny little beagle outside this average sized tent?

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She’s small for a beagle, look how she takes up barely any room inside the tent.

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Small isn’t she? So after a fun day out at the beach and a fab night out in a dog friendly pub, I didn’t think there would be any problems with our tent accommodating all of us for a cosy night’s sleep.

The illustration shows  two humans in a sleeping bag on an airbed in a tent, adding one small dog in shouldn’t have been a problem…

twohumans

but then this happened.

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For some reason, my little dog, once she was on top of a sleeping bag, grew to the size of a woolly mammoth.

She.was. everywhere. Despite having not one but two of her doggy beds in the tent, Mary decided to plonk herself right in the middle of us and rest her head on my arm. The weight of her forced all of  air out  of the sleeping bag, leaving me pressed up against the zip at the side.

At one stage I tried to give myself a little more room by unzipping the side of the bag, but I had been pressed up against it with such force, that half of me fell out leaving my right side exposed to the elements. So then I turned on my side and tried to zip the sleeping bag back up again. It was something of an exertion, but I managed it, tucked my arms back in and found myself  stuck in the sleeping bag on my side. I learned if I turned very slowly, I could swap between trapped on my side, to trapped on my back to trapped on my otherside.

Each position took about fifteen minutes to get into.  I rotated myself around and around.  For the first time in my life, I knew how it felt to be a lump of doner kebab meat. After several hours of perpetually rotating with Mary’s disapproving stares, I finally got into a semi – comfortable position. I found if I bent arms back, and tucked my knees in and bent at the hips in a 90 degree angle, I reckoned I could get to sleep.

Ahh, the peace and quiet of the countyside, getting back to nature, the great outdoors, I was nodding off … until the noisiest mother effing dawn chorus decided to put a stop to my slumbering. Seriously! What the hell is all that about? Getting up in the morning and squealing and squawking, letting every bastard in the world knowing you are awake. Like, who does that? Fecking birds are noisy buggers. And that was just the normal birds. Then the seagulls started- those lot are  massive knobheads.  It was five o bloody clock in the morning and it went on for AGES.

thebirds

I didn’t see any point trying to go to sleep after that, so I freed myself from my nylon prison  and made my way to the loo block. I was the tiredest I have ever been in my life and I couldn’t even coordinate my own body properly. My feet were dragging along and I had developed a twitch in my arm. There was a fella just a few steps ahead of me, on his way to the shower block and he  turned round and looked a little startled. It was then I realised I was actually moaning out loud. Not just one moan, but a sequence of moans. First a “auuuurghhh” and then “Emummmm” and then a “psss huuuu huh” gaspy noise. And even though I realised I was doing it, I still couldn’t manage to stop. I was convinced I was going to die of “Tired” and my last words were going to be “Aruuuuooog hummum  pushhhuh”

In the toilet  block, once I had managed to work out which were the shower cubicles and which were the loos and attended to business, I realised my brain had turned into a doner kebab as well because I couldn’t work out where to wash my hands.

This sink had writing on it and I couldn’t fathom out what was going on there. My eyes couldn’t focus on both the writing and the operating of the tap.

 

sinkone

Then I found another sink, but I couldn’t use that one because this sink was just for washing babies and I didn’t have babies to wash, only my hands.

sinkforbabies

I eventually came upon this sink which was just right once I had worked out how the taps worked.

sinktwo

When I got back to the tent, the noisy birds had quietened down a bit and Mary had moved to the bottom of the bed, so I slid back into to my nylon prison encasement, Mary snoring at my feet. She must have sensed I was comfortable at last so she decided to come and lie on top of me. ON TOP OF ME.

And THAT is how to take your dog camping.

backtobed

The whole thing was a bit of a “life imitating art” scenario as our heroine Fiona in Five Go Glamping finds herself in a similar camping predicament:

“Sometimes in films, you mCPv4xkcWgAAOweNight get a scene where a person is waking up because they’re being nibbled and caressed by the romantic target of their affections. Then you see it’s a weird half-dream – they wake up alone, on their sofa, to find it is not the target of their affections who is nibbling their ear or kissing their neck, but instead it is their dog licking their face furiously, dribbling dog food scented goo all over them.

Well, this is kind of what happened to me.

But, instead of dreaming I was with the love of my life and then waking up with a dog licking my face, my subconscious decided I would dream first about a dog licking my face and then wake up to find a dog licking my face.

I was also dehydrated from one too many alcoholic ginger beers and some questionable parsnip wine and in an allegedly three-man pink polka dot monstrosity of a tent. 

Fun-filled, witty and uplifting, Five Go Glamping is a quick read but a memorable one. It features a great combination of friendship, romance and adventure and the story builds up vividly to the extentI felt like I was theremyself, watching the madness unfold.’ – Reviewed the Book

‘Liz Tipping’s writing style was great, it was fun, flirty, great characters and kept me thoroughly entertained with some wonderful witty words and some gorgeous heartwarming moments.’ – Kraftireader

‘Believe me, if you are in a need of a book that’s going to make you laugh out loud, has style, glamour and interesting storyline – than do not look any further! Five Go Glamping is what you’re looking for!’ – On My Bookshelf

‘This is an energetic and lively story, packed full of friendship, romance, mishaps and laughs. I raced through the book and I enjoyed Liz Tipping’s style of writing, which made me want to keep on reading long after I should have been in bed!’ – Curious Ginger Cat Blog

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If you love it, pin it!

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He dived through a hole in the universe for her – Why sci-fi has the best romantic heroes

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What do you think makes a great romance? A great romantic hero and heroine? Boy meets girl finished with Happily Ever After?

See, I don’t really get Mr.Darcy and all the other fellas who get listed as the greatest romantic heroes of all time because for me the best romances tend to happen in space.

How about this: She’s a Princess from Alderaan. He’s a stuck up, half-witted scruffy looking nerf herder from Corellia. All that’s standing in their way of love is a moon sized super weapon capable of destroying a planet.

Star Wars or any other science fiction may not be the first thing that comes to mind when asked to recall the greatest love stories ever told, but they are fertile ground for great romance plots for several reasons.

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Han Solo starring in the video for East17’s Stay

 

The best romances involve the hero and heroine overcoming the big obstacles. So, you could have two people who are so very different, you can’t ever see it working it out between them. Here’s a typical opposite attracts story. He’s a high school senior from a wealthy family, she’s a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Can love find a way? Well, probably yes, all they have to do is not bow to peer pressure.

But if he’s a scientist from the planet Caprica responsible for the near destruction of the human race and she’s a Cylon and he’s not even sure if she exists or is merely a figment of his imagination? Can love find a way? Now that’s a bit trickier.

cylon
Cylons need love too

Another essential love story element is the thing that’s keeping the couple apart, even though we as readers and viewers are willing them together. Maybe she’s trapped in a loveless marriage, or it’s a long distance relationship that’s not quite working. But what if you are galaxies apart or trapped in parallel universe like Doctor Who’s Rose? Or if your husband suddenly ups and says he wants to take over the Galaxy, changes his name to Darth Vader? Now then you’ve got issues!

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He’s a wrong ‘un

Personally, I love the darker sci-fi, the suffocating, dystopian stuff where everything is so bleak, there’s not even a chink of hope that a romance could flourish. So when it does, it’s really magical even if there’s no happy ever after. This is why I think the love triangle between Kara Thrace, Lee Adama and Sam Anders in BattleStar Galactica is  one of the greatest love story ever told.

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But THE  greatest love story ever told is most definitely these guys

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fitz

 

Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz from Agents of Shield.  These two, regularly referred to as Fitzsimmons are so destined to be together, it actually hurts to watch when they can’t be together. They are SO cursed!  They’ve had so many huge obstacles thrown between them, that when they finally kissed, I cried my eyes out for like half an hour!

Fitz is’nt the typical sci fi hero like the Ronon Dex or Han Solo but when Gemma is lost on another planet in the episode “4,722 Hours” Fitz literally dives through a hole in the universe for her- yes literally! Swoon!

Would Mr.Darcy tear a whole in the universe? Don’t think so, he’s too busy walking around in ponds or whatever it is he does.

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What an idiot

If you want to relive the Fitzsimmons story so far, or want to see what the fuss is all about, here’s a little taster. Massive spoilers, obviously!


What do you think? Who are your favourite romantic heroes? Do you like them out of this world or a bit more down to earth?

My Favourite Vintage Things with Kerry Hudson

Today’s Favourite Vintage Things guest post is from Kerry Hudson.

Kerry Hudson was born in Aberdeen. Growing up in a succession of council estates, B&Bs and caravan parks provided her with a keen eye for idiosyncratic behaviour, material for life, and a love of travel.

Her debut novel Tony Hogan Brought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma was one of the most talked about UK debuts of 2012 and was shortlisted for an array of prizes, including the Guardian First Novel Award and the Sky Arts Awards.

Kerry’s second novel, THIRST was released this week. I started reading it yesterday  and I cannot put it down. It’s just so absorbing and compelling. It’s heartbreaking at times, so sad, but it’s funny too. The characters and places are all so vivid and real. At times you’ll have to stop to remind yourself to breathe. I can tell already that Dave and Alena are those kind of characters who you’ll find yourself wondering about long after you have finished the book.

“The beginning of a relationship is usually all about getting to know one another, sharing stories far into the night, comparing experiences, triumphs and heartaches, until we know each other inside out.

Not so for Dave and Alena. He’s from London, she’s from Siberia. They meet in a sleek Bond Street department store in the frayed heat of high summer where she’s up to no good and it’s his job to catch her. So begins an unlikely relationship between two people with pasts, with secrets, they’ve no idea how to live with — or leave behind. But despite everything they don’t have in common, all the details they won’t and can’t reveal, they still find themselves fighting with all they’ve got for a future together.”

Here, Kerry talks about her favorite vintage things. 
A pin, a bracelet, a small battered ‘Benson and Hedges’ tin. None of them are family heirlooms. None of them cost more than a few pounds. They could fit into a pocket quite easily. But these are my favourite vintage things.
I don’t have any things passed from generation to generation. I do understand why such things are precious to people but my very working-class family didn’t have a lot of ‘things’. And the few things I can remember, little bits of jewellery, engagement rings, charm bracelets were either pawned or, if less valuable, were lost or left behind during the transient times when we had nothing to lose by hoping the next town might be better.
Now as an adult, with a life and job that makes me very happy indeed, this has impacted me in two ways. The first is that I have no acquisitory appetite for ‘things’. Don’t get me wrong, I love a flea market or vintage shop, I like beautiful old books, I can bankrupt myself in Paperchase or Boots. But whenever I buy something it is with full knowledge it’s not for keeping forever, it’s just for now and it’s usually just as much as I need.
And that is because of the second thing: I travel. I travel a lot. Though in theory I’m based in my beloved Hackney, in the last three years I’ve been across Russia, worked at a Sultan’s Chateau in Paris, decamped to Vietnam to finish Thirst, been writer in residence in Seoul, spent spring in Budapest and I’m writing his from a little café in Berlin. It’s a good way of life, the perfect one for me but it means that I travel light, never with more than a rucksack of things.
But these three vintage things go with me wherever I go. I don’t know why they took on a particular significance really but they have come to mean something to me each in their own special way.
The tobacco tin belonged to my ex-partner’s grandmother and once held a sewing-kit for a journey we did around the world together over a decade ago. But I’ve long since lost the needles, the loops of thread. Still, just seeing it reminds me of all the people I love and that they love me, even when I’m far away from them.
The pin I found at the end of last year, tacked to a velvet board with thousands of others in a shop in Dalston, ‘that’s my name!’ I shouted to the amused sales woman. At the time I was nervous about my impending trip to Europe, about leaving behind my friends and familiar things again and I saw discovering the pin as good luck. It became my familiar thing, reminds me of my adopted home Hackney – Dave and Alena’s setting for falling in love – when I’m in unfamiliar places.
The bracelet is even newer. I found at Neukolln flea market here in Berlin on a table dappled by the shadow of sunlight through leaves. It was a beautiful day, everyone was so friendly and the old Turkish woman who ran the stall asked for ten euro and then immediately smiled at me and reduced her price to seven.  When I see it on my wrist, glinting away, it makes me grateful for my adventures – I’ll always remember I bought it during a happy summer in Berlin during the year my second book was coming out and while I was writing my third.
Inevitably, I’ll lose these all at some point and that’s ok – I hope someone else will find them and make their own memories from them.  Meanwhile, I’ll find small, inexpensive things from someone else’s life and make new stories from them too.
Thank you so much for sharing ! 
 
You can say hello to Kerry  in all these places 
 
Twitter: @Kerryswindow
And you can read the opening of Thirst by clicking here 

My Favourite Vintage Thing with Jon Teckman

 

I’m excited to welcome Jon Teckman to the blog with this fantastic post. Jon is Ex-CEO of the BFI. Treasurer of the BBFC. His  Debut Novel – Ordinary Joe – published by Borough Press is out now. 
 
My 11 year old son, Matthew, has all the gadgets one would expect a child of his gilded generation
to enjoy: x-box, wii, 3DS, tablet. He also retains an endearing love of board games. The other day, as I reflected on what I might contribute to this season of blogs about vintage objects we still hold dear, we settled down to play Philately, an old game of mine about stamp collecting which I had played with my brothers and sisters when I was a child.  Matthew claims that I have yet to beat him – that he always fills his album page of 40 stamps before I can
complete my collection.  I’m not sure whether this is strictly true, but he was certainly giving me a sound beating on this occasion as I let my mind wonder to the subject of what the hell I might write about.
 
 
 
Vintage, apparently, is defined as anything more than 25 years old.  Although I am not a great collector of stuff, I am a bit of a hoarder, often failing to throw away items that have long since possessed any usefulness, so, I thought, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find some old, treasured item to fit the bill.
If I looked in my chest of drawers, I’d venture that I could soon find
items of clothing that would pass this test of time, though not necessarily of
any real cultural or sentimental value. No cherished t-shirts from any of the eardrum-popping rock concerts I attended in the early eighties; no university jumper or scarf that I appear not still to have even though I have no recollection of throwing them away.
My autographed King of America CD (my favourite of
all Elvis Costello’s albums) dates from 1986 but the signature was added much
later when a friend asked him to scribble his name on the cover at the end of a
dental hygiene session, so I don’t think that counts. Ditto my special edition
of Raging Bull which director Martin Scorsese signed when I met him in a makeshift film studio in Queens, New York in October 2001, just a few weeks after the events of 9/11 had changed the city forever – a meeting that is now immortalised in the opening scene of my novel Ordinary Joe.  That edition in its splendid cardboard
slipcase was actually released on the film’s 20th anniversary in
2000 so definitely doesn’t qualify.
Sadly, the photographs and memories of my brother, Mike, taken from us in a car crash at the end of 1989, now qualify as vintage – the last time I saw his dazzling
smile being more than 25 years ago.
And, as with many much-loved and cherished keepsakes, these too are fading over
time, crinkling in their albums and at the edges of my mind as the distance
between when they happened and the here and now grows longer with each passing
day.
So, what can I write about? Matthew only needs one more stamp – Burma – to complete his collection, taking advantage of my disjointed concentration to hand me yet another beating.  In desperation, I turn to my
wife – as I am often obliged to do in times of existential crisis.  “I need to think of something vintage I can write about,” I say, “any ideas?”  
She looks at me, not for the first time in more than eighteen years of marriage, as if I have failed to evolve at the same rate as the rest of the species Homo sapiens sapiens.   “How old is that game you’re playing?” she
asks in the same tone she employs when checking whether I really need to add
that six pack of beers to the shopping trolley.  
And I can’t deny she has a point: Philately was released by Dixons Games in 1973 and is, therefore, comfortably vintage.  I was 10 that year – almost exactly the same
age as Matthew is now.  Games, I recall thanks to my wife’s prompting, have always been a big part of my life – being one of five children, there were always plenty of willing opponents to take me on (I might have even won the odd game back then!) Philately, Escape from Colditz Haunted House, Mouse Trap and Abandon Ship were all family favourites, alongside the old standards: Monopoly, Cluedo etc.  We still have most of them. Games from that era in good condition can fetch more than £50 a time on eBay.  Ours, of course, aren’t in good condition –
they are battered and torn and bent because they have been played and enjoyed
and loved as games are supposed to be for more than forty years. What exactly
is the point of a Barbie or an Action Man that is still in its box?

 

Besides which, all those memories – and the fact that my own children still love to
take time away from their electronic devices to enjoy them with me now – are
worth more to me than all the money in the Philately bank. 


A brilliant, fast-paced comedy about what happens when all of your dreams become true.What would you do if…

…you were happily married

…with two gorgeous children

…and the most gorgeous film star in the world walked up to you

…And it wasn’t a joke.

…Could you resist?

Joe West, accountant, father and husband is just your average guy who has just walked into that dream scenario. Except the dream sours fast and suddenly everything he holds dear is on the line.

Sometimes life is crazier than the movies.

You can read the first chapter of  Jon’s “Ordinary Joe” by clicking here

and you can say hello to Jon on twitter here https://twitter.com/Jontwothreefour

My favourite vintage thing with Heidi Swain

 

I’m pleased to welcome Heidi Swain to the blog! 
Heid is a writer of romantic novels and decidedly darker short
stories, blogger, compulsive reader and random thinker. She is a  lover of Galaxy bars,
chickens and a vintage bargain! 
 
Over to Heidi-Jo!

When I spotted that Liz was asking for fellow fans of all
things vintage to step up and share their favourite pieces on her blog I
thought how fantastic it would be to take part and requested a spot without a
moment’s hesitation. Little did I realise at the time just how difficult it was
going to be deciding what to share!

You see, my house is packed to the rafters with vintage bits
and pieces. Furniture, fabrics, some gorgeous glasses, mirrors, paintings and
pipe racks all sit companionably together even though they actually they have very
little in common. Eclectic is the word to best describe the overall look and I
love it.
So, decisions, decisions. After much thought I’ve opted to
share my latest obsession for all things glazed. So far my hankering has led me
to the beautiful little honey pot, complete with a tiny bee on the top. It is
in the shape of a traditional skep and was sourced as inspiration for my second
novel which is set amid the halcyon days of late summer, orchards and beehives.
The little green jug is Holkham pottery and was found in St
Gregory’s, a 14th century church in Norwich, which now houses a
mesmerising plethora of antiques and collectables. It immediately caught my eye;
the colour and shape are exquisite as was the £2 price tag!
My latest find came from the bric-a-brac box at the Summer
Fair of the school where I work as a teaching assistant. Not that long ago I
would have spurned them but now they have pride of place on the reclaimed
sideboard with the rest of the glazed collection.
I haven’t parted with more than £5 for all the pieces I have
stumbled upon so far and consider myself lucky to be able to sniff out a
bargain. There are many things in my cheap and cheerful vintage collection and
I love them all, they have all som
ehow ‘drawn me in’. I make no apology to
sound so fanciful because that is how it works!

 

My only wish is that more people gave vintage, second hand,
old, call it what you will, more thought. This idea that everything has to be
brand new will surely phase out soon, won’t it? There is only so much the world
can produce and surely we have enough of everything for everyone already, don’t
we? Nothing can compare to the pleasure of finding an object and thinking about
who has handled it and what its journey has been thus far… or perhaps that’s just
the writer in me waxing lyrical!
51xkZ9xCfwL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe Cherry Tree Cafe is Heidi’s debut novel.

Cupcakes, crafting and love at The Cherry Tree Cafe…

Lizzie Dixon’s life feels as though it’s fallen apart. Instead of the marriage proposal she was hoping for from her boyfriend, she is unceremoniously dumped, and her job is about to go the same way. So, there’s only one option: to go back home to the village she grew up in and to try to start again.

Her best friend Jemma is delighted Lizzie has come back home. She has just bought a little cafe and needs help in getting it ready for the grand opening. And Lizzie’s sewing skills are just what she needs.

With a new venture and a new home, things are looking much brighter for Lizzie. But can she get over her broken heart, and will an old flame reignite a love from long ago…?

For everyone who loves settling down to watch Great British Bake-Off, the Great British Sewing Bee, or curling up to read Milly Johnson or Jenny Colgan,The Cherry Tree Cafe is a coffee-break treat.

The Cherry Tree Cafe is available on amazon here and you
can contact Heidi  via the following links:

The Nick Miller Guide To Writing

Nick Miller from New Girl teaches us everything there is to know about writing.

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Thank you Julius Pepperwood! Should we read any books?

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Okay, got it. I feel a bit procrastinate-y. That’s normal, right?

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What should I do? Write half a book about zombies?

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Do I need to learn to spell?

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I haven’t met my word count. What should I do?

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Here’s Nick hard at work.

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Liz Tipping is a LizTippingPhotographwriter of romantic comedies.

As well as reading and writing novels, Liz enjoys John Hughes films, science fiction box sets, reality television, Irish sausages and ginger beer. She lives in Birmingham and has a degree in Communication where she specialised in Film Studies and Photography. 
 She is represented by Juliet Mushens at The Agency Group.

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