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A Look Back at 2017, in Blog Posts.

On this last day of 2017, I thought it would be fun to look back over the year at what has been going on in my life and sharing some of my favourite as well as most popular blog posts with you.

As some of you may know, I had another blog Edwina’s Episodes, which had just reached its 3 year anniversary. I was proud of how I had built that blog up, and the number of people who enjoyed it and interacted with me. Well, at the beginning of October, I decided that I could no longer use it as there were so many technical problems with it (mostly from me buggering about with it). Sadly, the site was down more than it was up and I even managed to get myself locked out of it, as well as delete most of it, so it has been retired for good now.

Luckily, I had already set up this blog in my own name, mainly for writing my poems, but as I ended up posting everything on the other blog anyway, it got rather abandoned! It is now fully up and running, but of course, does not have as much content on it, although I am doing my best to rectify that. I won’t be able to link to all of the posts I wanted to over the past year as they are on the other blog, but I have brought some posts over here, and you can click on the links to read them.

Anyway, back to 2017. Starting the year, I was anxiously awaiting getting accepted for a university to study for a BSc in Adult Nursing.  After a series of tests and interviews, I finally got the news I was waiting for on my birthday in February that I was accepted, and started in April as a Student Nurse.  Being a ‘mature student’ was harder than I expected mainly because I have quite a lot of experience in nursing already, but I have to apply it from a different perspective!

As far as blogging was concerned, I decided to introduce my video poems on a Monday as a feature, and team up with Sandra Dorey from Wild Daffodil blog to take part in her #Sillysaturday posts. It started with her making these beautiful little figures out of pebbles, flowers and stones and me telling her that it would be fun if they had a little story to go with them. Sandra suggested a poem would be a good way of telling their story and our collaboration was born! I have to say, I am absolutely loving it and really hope that we will continue this in 2018. My favourite character so far has got to be Maggie the lap dancer.

This all leads to Sandra actually getting some greetings cards printed, some with her artwork on, and some with both her artwork and my poem. What a thrill it was to receive a special package from Daffy, especially as those cards are such excellent quality too.

Throughout the year, I tried to embark on a healthier lifestyle, joining the gym and also trying to adopt a healthier diet. I appreciate that this is still a work in progress but it is something that I am keen to continue in 2018. Hopefully, I will be able to stop myself snacking whilst writing assignments and comfort eating when it all gets too stressful! I will keep you posted of course, on my endeavours.

I wanted to nurture my blog a little more, (before I ended up breaking it) and decided that I needed a little help with some aspects of Social Marketing and Pinterest in particular. I contacted the lovely Suzie from Suzie Speaks who as I am sure many of you know, is a successful  Media Management Consultant and she helped me to grow my Pinterest account followers and views substantially and gave me some fantastic advice to boot! Thankfully, she was there to help out when it all went pear-shaped with my Edwina’s Episodes blog too.

Towards the end of the year, I was thrilled to see that my Halloween and Christmas limericks went down really well with everyone. What really made my day though, was when I actually had requests to write limericks about an elf and a mince-pie! That is what I love so much about the blogging community, the interaction that we have. As yet I do not have a particular feature in mind for 2018, but perhaps I could do something like that. Any ideas would be welcome.

Finally, I would just like to thank all of you so much for reading my blog, especially to those of you still with me despite all the glitches, hitches and cock-ups that happened throughout the year. Your friendship and support mean the world to me. I look forward to seeing what 2018 brings for us, and I wish you all a Happy New Year!!

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A bit of British Humour

I read a post a short time ago by the wonderful Debby where she used a writing prompt from a journal she bought. This inspired me to buy my own but on a totally different subject (mine is all about cultivating joy and well-being).

The prompt for yesterday was to write a joke. Hmmm, I am not good at jokes, unless they are very rude or very silly. I love the ‘knock knock’ jokes, and the ‘what do you call?’ ones. As in:

‘What do you call a man with a shovel on his head?’ Answer: Doug!

‘What do you call a man without a shovel on his head?’ Answer: Douglas!! (it’s all in the pronunciation)!

I won’t bore you with any others as they are really old jokes and not that funny unless you are me, who finds them hilarious!

Anyway, I decided that as I couldn’t tell any jokes I would talk a little about British humour instead.

The first thing that springs to mind is the fact that we love innuendo, double entendre, and a good pun (or even a bad pun, anything goes)! The ‘Carry On Films’ are a veritable feast if you like that kind of thing, with their silly storylines, and crazy character names such as a surgeon named Dr Carver, and a young doctor called Dr Nookey ( a British euphemism for sex). I’m thinking this must have had an early subconscious influence on my choice of career! They always had such fun in the hospitals in these films.

The Sun Newspaper loves puns and innuendoes too, and they have had some famous (or infamous) headlines over the years. For example, when Elton John and David Furnish married, their headline was ‘Elton Takes David Up The Aisle’ and ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Korea’ which needs no explanation!

Sarcasm features pretty heavily in our humour armoury too and it is always appreciated whenever we hear it. Comments like’ I’m returning your nose, dear, I found it in my business’ and one (of many) from Winston Churchill ‘ I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly!’ Another favourite is when parents say things like, ‘I think you have forgotten to put a skirt on’ or ‘can you plaster on any more makeup?’ to their teenaged daughters when they are going out!

This can get a bit confusing though as sometimes we say something straight-faced but mean the exact opposite, such as ‘Oh, lovely’ it’s raining again, I can’t wait to go out in it!’ or even worse. ‘Yes, green is definitely your colour’ when it is obvious that it looks hideous!Mind you, it could be worse if they went the whole hog and said that ‘green is definitely your colour, it matches your complexion!’

One of my favourite types of humour is the observational kind. We have several comedians who are brilliant at this, Michael McIntyre and Peter Kaye are so good at turning the ordinary situations into massive belly laughs!

We have a fixation about class too, and that often comes out in our humour. There was a famous Monty Python Sketch that they showed us at Uni about the British Class system which you can see here.

I suppose our most common type of humour is the self-deprecating type, of the hapless idiot always messing things up. We do love to put ourselves down, then have a major complex if anyone agrees with us. What a mixed-up lot we are!

I hope I have managed to give you some laughs despite the rubbish jokes at the beginning!

Are We Too Clean?

You may remember some time ago I wrote about my mum’s attitude that ‘A little bit of dirt never killed anybody’. This was in regards to her cavalier disregard for sell-by dates.kitchen cleanliness and other such pleasantries!

To add to this, I remember only having a bath once a week (on a Sunday night fresh for school on Monday), and it was either in with my younger sister, or somebody else’s second-hand water! We didn’t think anything of it really at that time, as we still washed, just didn’t bathe!

Of course, becoming teenagers was a whole new ballgame. We were never out of the bathroom! Mum would be vexed that we would only wear our clothes once and then chuck them in the wash. Apart from underwear, she was convinced that our clothes still had another day or two left in them before they got dirty enough to warrant washing.

She thought we were crazy washing our hair every day as well, telling us that it ‘would wash all the goodness out of it’. We still did it anyway, and got through a job lot of shampoo and conditioner along the way.

According to a survey of 2021 women commissioned by Flint + Flint (A skin care company) four out of five women still don’t bother to shower every day, and in fact one-third will go for three days without washing at all. Phewwwww, I bet things get a bit whiffy around the nethers. How gross!

Like most women I know, I bathe every day, and many times more often than that. I would never dream of going to work without first bathing, which is one of the reasons I get up so early. In my opinion, it is not just about personal pride, but consideration for others as well. I have to get pretty close to my patients, and I am sure they would not want to be a couple of inches from an unwashed armpit – or worse!

By the same token,when I worked in a hospital,  we would wash our patients every day, for their self-respect and dignity as well as the obvious infection control measures. Most of us actually feel better when we are clean, with washed hair and fresh clothes.

I am not averse to a bit of dirt either. Kids like to play in the mud and get filthy, as it is so much fun. I think if we obsessively clean everything to within an inch of its life, then we run the risk of not building up any resistance, and catching everything going! It is about balance and common sense.

Are we too clean or should we leave it 3 days between washes?

Welcome To Everyone From Edwina’s Episodes

I would just like to give a huge, warm welcome to everyone that has come over here from Edwina’s Episodes. I am so very sad to have to let that go, especially as I had built up such a huge community there, but I am hoping to continue my blogging friendships her now.

I will still be writing about the kind of things that I did before, anecdotes and funny stories, as well as my quest for a healthier lifestyle. Of course there will be poems, well rhymes and maybe the odd limerick or two and perhaps I will continue with the haiku writing that I enjoy.

I still intend to collaborate with my lovely friend Sandra from Wild Daffodil blog with her fantastic shell and pebble families which I have been writing some poems for.

Although I am not going to bring the entire blog over here, (in case it self-destructs), I have decided that I will publish a few of my latest posts that were on Edwina’s Episodes. This blog hasn’t been active for a while and I would like to have something here that I have written recently, and something for people to read whilst I establish this blog.

Thanks to all of you that have put up with the glitches and Gremlins that happened during the last few weeks, and most of all, thank you for sticking with me! I really appreciate it.

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge: Passion

Ronovan has given us ‘passion’ this week for his and Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Challenge.‘ A very strong word indeed, and I can’t wait to get stuck into this one! Here is the quote that I have chosen:

Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn.

– John Wesley

 

The older that I’m getting

The more passionate I’ve become

Life has much more potential

Than being boring and humdrum

When buying something from a shop

It really is a farce

When the assistant is sulky and sullen

With a face like a smacked arse!

Yet someone bright and bubbly

Who greets me with a smile

and enjoys the job they are doing

Will make my trip worthwhile!

A sportsman with no passion

Will never win the game

He has to feel excitement

And his soul should be inflamed

The different types of artists

So ardent about their craft

Each work contains their sweat and tears

And many years of long hard graft!

What about our love lives?

Wouldn’t it be a bore

Just going through the motions

As if it were a chore

We need to show our passion

In everything we do,

If others see your enthusiasm

They will feel it too!

 

 

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – Believe

I am a little late with the Writer’s Challenge this week, which is hosted by Colleen and Ronovan, but as always the prompt word is an inspirational one!  We have ‘believe’ to work with, and despite finding several quotes that almost say what I wanted, they weren’t quite right, so I’ve thought up my own!

When others believe in you, it spurs you on; when you believe in yourself, then you can truly achieve your dreams

-Judy Martin 2016.

 

Sometimes I lacked the confidence

To try out something new

Despite a burning ambition

To make my dreams come true

With so many things, I wanted to do

Yet being afraid to try

Meant that I was getting nowhere

And time was passing me by

I couldn’t pass my driving test

No matter how many times I tried

I was stuck in a dreadful marriage

Where all I did was cried

I felt I was a failure

As I didn’t do so well at school

I was never going to be anyone

Just some silly little fool!

BUT those times are far behind me

I have turned my life around

And it is due in many ways

To all the support, I found.

I was suddenly encouraged

To take my driving test

Instead of doing it covertly

And feeling extremely stressed!

I had my lovely family to turn to

When I finally got the divorce

I actually went to University

And passed my two year course

My biggest wish came true

When I gave birth to a girl

She was a longed for baby

And brightened up my world

My blogging friends have played a part

In helping me succeed

This led to me publishing a book

Something I never thought I’d see

But the outcome of it all

is that everything I have achieved

Has been with help from others

And the fact that in myself I believed!

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – Hope

This week Ronovan has given us the lovely prompt word ‘hope’ for his and Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Challenge.

The quote I have chosen is particularly apt in so many ways….

I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.

–  Anne Frank

 

When rain blocks out the sunshine

And dampens down the day

A rainbow shows its colours

And brightens up the grey

The night sky so foreboding

Shadowy and dark

The moon and stars start playing

Causing illuminating sparks

A young family on the breadline

Trying to make ends meet

Dad has bought some sweets home

Just to give them a little treat

The little boy with cancer

Who is struggling to survive

His parents treasure every day

Their precious son is alive

A woman longing for a baby

Who has tried for so many years

Then her prayers are answered

As the thin blue line appears

Wars and terror divide us

We need unity, hope and faith

Together, we can make a difference

To make this world a better place

 

 

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