If I was having coffee I’d say that I’ve been consuming some interesting beverages recently, a mocktail, comes to mind.
Yesterday I was at Grand Central Ely (my daughter’s recommendation,) an authentic American style restaurant right by Ely waterfront. My daughter and I sampled their tasty burgers and also had some lovely mocktails, (no alcohol!) We both opted for a Cotton Candy – A sweet blend of coconut cream, pineapple juice and grenadine. It was delicious!
I’m not sure if I could replicate that mocktail but I do have a smoothie maker! Otherwise would a humble old coffee do ? Don’t worry I promise not to serve it in a bucket!
Yesterday my daughter and I’s visit to Ely coincided with the Ely Eel Festival. We had quite a day.
We watched Morris Dancers – more about that and our day on my post for: Hugh’s Photo Challenge so do stop there do and take a look!
We saw dancers, young performers, singers, men and women in Medieval costume, Morris Dancers, people eating Eel… the DJ wasn’t impressed – he spat his out! I bought some pot plants, and a cute cuddly cactus which sadly I lost somewhere… either on the grass, Tescos, or the train, I’ve no idea. So if you find my pot plants – do take care of them..
I had to share these particular photos of the event:
Who are these ladies in long black dresses you might ask? I was thinking the same thing until they put their tassels around their hips and then it clicked. Belly Dancers! These are the Elysian Belly Dancers, swaying their bellies and hips in tune to the music. Well done them, so brave to show off their Arabic dancing talents in public.
If you’d like to join in the fun here’s the link to the website: Elysian Belly Dancers. I have to say I was tempted, but I have writer’s meetings once a month on a Thursday evening! I co-coordinate the Cambridge Writer’s writing for children group: Cambridge Writers, so if I want to belly dance I might have to find another class! C’est La Vie!
What else have I been up to?
On Wednesday night I usually go to my Tai Chi class but I was invited by fellow writer – Alex Mellanby – author of The Tregarthur Series: Author Alex Mellanby – Amazon Profile along to an interesting, and enlightening SCIWBI event at Heffers Childrens Bookshop, Trinity Street. The guest of honour – Clair Goodhead, The Bookshop Manager, enlightened us about the history of the bookshop and gave us an insight into how passionate they are about books in general, and championing local authors. These type of events are excellent for networking, and finding out more about the bookselling industry. I met the co-coordinator of the Central East SCWBI network Helen Moss, writer of Adventure Island Books.
If I were having coffee I’d say I’ve put on a little weight around the middle so perhaps I’d better stick to a Skinny Witchy latte! What about you? What are you having today? …. Are you going to have a full fat Cappucino? You wicked tease!!!
It’s been a bit of an uneventful week – just been working, editing, blogging, cleaning, washing……. so I thought I’d share some news with you….
Guess what happened this week… I missed my own 2 year Blog Anniversary. What? Yes, I did, somehow I misplaced it. So today I’m picking this piece of news up and saying that Kyrosmagica turned two this April!!!!
This calls for a double shot of coffee and some chocolates I reckon! Don’t you agree? Oh dear, bang goes my diet!
So I thought I’d share with you some of my stats….
Followers, 831. This in itself is amazing. Thank you so much for following, and engaging with me on my little piece of blog land. You lovely peeps.
Views, 23,220. What this means I have no idea… I think you’ve been looking at my blog, peering at it curiously!
Comments, 4010. Yes, lots of these and I love comments! So keep them coming… You chatterboxes.. 🙂
Posts, 610. Wow! Have I really written that many? Boy, that’s a lot.
Visitors: 8613. That’s astonishing. I feel quite faint.
Best views Ever: 31st October, 2015 – 177 views. That’s the one, the stat that amuses me! My most popular post at the time was a Halloween poem! Wonder of wonders. Moreover my eldest daughter was inspired by this poem My Halloween Poem to write a story..
Now, I’m not intending to bore you with this bunch of stats, honest… I’m no statistician. The reason that I’m mentioning it is I’m amused. Amused? Yes….. my best views ever occurred at Halloween!!! Yeah, I think that proves that Kyrosmagica is truly a bit of a white witch. I cast a spell on you! Even my daughter….
I’m so proud! I couldn’t be more happier. What more could Kyrosmagica ask for? What a trophy!
Right, enough Witchy nonsense. Now that I’ve fallen off my witch’s broom and landed on my posterior, what’s my 2 year news?
I’ve been editing furiously and now my manuscript is a staggering 84,344 words.
After much deliberation I’ve chosen a title for my book – The Curse of Time.
I’m currently considering some ideas for a book cover.
I’ve written something in the region of 80+ Book reviews!!
I’ve developed an interest in Photography.
I love writing haiku, and dabble in a bit of short story writing too!
I’ve started writing book reviews for self-published authors…
I’m a Bloggers Basher! I went to last years event and will be attending this years event in London too! If you’re interested to find out more, here’s the link to Sacha’s blog to find out more: Annual Bloggers Bash
I had the opportunity to steward at this year’s Literary Festival. I wrote about this wonderful experience in last week’s coffee share in case you missed it. Here’s the link: Cambridge Literary Festival
As you can see this blog really has made me grow as a person! No wonder I’m putting on weight! I’m so glad I began my blogging journey. I’ve made so many supportive and lovely blogging friends.
On my to do List:
Public speaking. This has been on my to do list for a long time…. I hope to bite the bullet on this at some time, but in truth this frightens the bazookas out of me. Being a bit of an introvert, (with extrovert tendencies,) can be a bit of a set back sometimes.
Publishing my novel. Of course this has been on My To Do List for a very long time, but I’m in good company. I take heart from the fact that a lot of writers take a long time to publish their books. I just hope 2016 is my year…
Writing a post about My Daughter’s Prom. I will be doing a Fashion Feature about this in July. Can’t wait!
Skydiving, White Water Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Paragliding, all lies, all lies…
Overhaul of my witch’s broom. This one’s true. I have a lot of plans for my broom. It needs a new and improved spec to take me to many more wonderful blogging destinations in the years to come!
Jobs. Ouch, nasty word! Yeah I’ve been dabbling in various occupations other than writing to make a few crusts as you’ve probably noticed. At Christmas time I worked in John Lewis as a temp, and now I’m working in my local primary school. I’m toying with the idea of doing some therapy work too – I’m a qualified Reflexologist/Aromatherapist too! So intending to practise this summer….. It’s been a while since I practised properly so may need to update my skills… do a refresher course. We’ll see… Decisions, Decisions. Terrible dilemma for a procrastinator.
So a lot of juggling going on…. thank goodness I’m a white witch or I’d never manage to cope with it all!
If I were having coffee I’d invite you to my new favourite haunt, a mysterious cafe in an exotic land of my imagination. We’d have the sun shining down on us, warming our backs with gentle breezes, palm trees above us, and the sweet aroma of flowers too. It would be so hot that we’d have a chilled coconut coffee filled to the brim with large scoops of ice. Or perhaps if the mood takes us we might indulge in one of these cheeky delights: Tequila Mockingbird, a Margaret Atwood, The Sunday Librarian, in The Study with The Lead Pipe, or a Watership Down!
Our iced drink would be decorated with one of those fancy cocktail sticks. The theme of the cafe would be books, and an abundance of titles would be artistically placed everywhere, decorating every nook and cranny, because this week my coffee share post is all about the Cambridge Literary Festival: http://www.cambridgeliteraryfestival.com/
I’m been looking forward to telling you about my recent experience working as a steward at the Cambridge Literary Festival. But before I begin let me fill you in on the first event at the Festival that I attended with my friend. On Friday evening my friend and I had a lovely Thai meal at Thaikun, from the streets of Bangkok, in our very own Cambridge: http://thaikhun.co.uk/
Followed by some Raving Beauties: Hallelujah for 50 ft Women at the Union library!
It was a blast, these ravers have had a beauty of a sell out run at the Edinburgh Festival. Their cabaret of diverse, passionate poetry listed above explores the themes of love, sex, creativity and work. When I say sex I mean it! Some of the titles are kinda in your face (look away if you are easily offended!): Cunts Cocks and Balls -Sally St. Clair, Cunt Artist Boyfriend – Rebecca Smith, Rutting – Arundhathi Subramaniam and a few very female orientated poems such as Women’s Blood – Vicky Feaver, and to my last period – Lucille Clifton. Oh and one for top heavy ladies: the trials and tribulations of a well-endowed woman – Hira A. There were a few men in the audience and I wonder what they made of the Raving Beauties! I’ve mentioned a few of the poems – I think if my memory serves me right they performed 35 altogether, including my favourite: Recognition – Carol Ann Duffy.
After the event my friend mentioned that she’d intended to do an English Literature degree when she was younger and had been persuaded by her then controlling boyfriend to do Law. She seemed to be touched by regret after listening to the talk! But I cheered her up by saying that Law had enabled her to be financially secure career wise. But, it does make you wonder, doesn’t it? How the pathways that we choose can shape your life in an entirely different way. Who knows what she might have done if she’d ignored her then boyfriend and done English Literature. Perhaps she might have become a poor impoverished poet, or been a featured poet in the Raving Beauties!
One can’t help but wonder! I digress. Back to my stewarding duties. It all began on Saturday. In the afternoon I helped out in the Old Divinity School, a wonderful setting for the 2.30 talk by journalists Robert Verkaik and Andrew Hosken: Reflections on the Middle East. The talk was a riveting sharing of their views on the ‘middle east cauldron.’ Robert Verkaik, is the author of Jihdi John: The Making of a Terrorist, (he is the only journalist to have interviewed the ISIS terrorist, thought to be of Arabic origin.)
Andrew Hosken wrote Empire of Fear: Inside The Isalmic State. The event was chaired by Helen Lewis, Editor of the New Statesman.
After that at 4pm I had the opportunity to steward in the Tracy Chevalier, Helen Dunmore & Linda Grant event: Reader, I Married Him.
This talk celebrated the 200th Anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth. The three speakers, Tracy Chevalier, Helen Dunmore and Linda Grant’s short stories were inspired by Jane Eyre, questioning who, how and why we love. Again, another wonderful talk that I was able to tune into gratis via my stewarding role!
For those of you who might be interesting in volunteering for literary events here’s a brief rundown of what I did while I was stewarding at the Divinity School:
I made sure that everything was in order before the talk began, that the auditorium was clear of rubbish, that the viewers of the previous talk left, (with a little gentle cajoling,) and that the speakers had water and the appropriate number of glasses. Also I had to keep an eye on the heavy door. I had to ensure that it didn’t slam shut with an almighty bang when latecomers came! (The building seemed to echo with the least noise so we were asked to keep disturbance to a minimum!) We helped with organising the queues for the auditorium, and the book signing, and generally tried to get festival goers in the right direction for toilets, etc. Oh, and we smiled a lot!
On Sunday I did it all again! Here’s us stewards posing for this photo opportunity twittered via Kate Kirk, and yours truly!
On Sunday morning I was due at the Fitzwilliam museum at 9.30, via a back entrance which was quite hard to find. Luckily I came across another steward who seemed to have a better sense of direction than I had and we found our way into the Goods In! Now that we were tagged, and signed in, we took a large (no I lie, an enormous lift,) into the museum.
I was so lucky! I was stewarding at the Claire Harman: Charlotte Bronte: A life, talk.
I have to say that this talk and the Hallelujah for 50ft. Women were my two favourite events at the Festival this year. Perhaps the Fitzwilliam event was in part due to the venue, my photo doesn’t do it justice, the room was beyond stunning:
But, moreover I was riveted by Claire Harman’s discussion of her acclaimed biography: Charlotte Bronte: A Life. After the talk, audience members were able to enjoy a display of Charlotte Bronte’s personal letters dating from 1845 to her death in 1855. These letters cover the period during which Jane Eyre, Shirley, and Villette were published, as well as her marriage to Arthur Bell Nicholls in 1854. The letters are still available for a short time period (a week, I believe) from today to view. The event was chaired by Tom Gatti, Culture Editor, New Statesman.
In the afternoon it was time for a quick bite to eat and then I was off to the take part in the Children’s programme! Yippee!!!
At 2.30 it was time for some Roman Mysteries and Quests with best selling author Caroline Lawrence in the Union Blue Room. Her novels are mostly set in ancient Rome. To find out more visit Caroline’s website:
I was impressed by Caroline’s ability to get her young audience members to join in at every opportunity, making the event a very fun and interactive experience. In fact, when she mentioned the xylospongia, an implement to clean yourself after you’ve been to the toilet,(in Roman times,) that got more than a few laughs. Toilet humour, always does the biz!! Below she’s grinning holding a xylospongia at the ready!
I managed to have a chat with Caroline and the tech guy, before the talk. Caroline was really lovely, so friendly and nice. And the tech guy was too, he trusted me to be responsible for his expensive piece of tech, I was the microphone lady for Q & A. First time doing this….. think it went ok. I didn’t drop it! Thank goodness. I didn’t mention I’m a bit accident prone! Though, I think the head steward might have guessed when I tripped over the queuing rope barriers. Luckily there was no harm done, just a bruised ego.
At 4pm I was in the Blue Room again this time helping out with Monica Vaughan’s talk on her book, Six. This is the American cover:
A thrilling and chilling sci-fi mystery that tackles controversial topics. Like the sound of this…. As before I wielded the microphone, for Q and A, and afterwards I managed to talk briefly to Monica before I left. Again she was very lovely, and thanked me for my help which was very sweet of her.
Here’s a link to Monica’s website to find out more about her:
I hope you enjoyed finding out more about my stewarding role, perhaps it might inspire you to help out at the next Literary Festival near you. It’s a very worthwhile thing to do, particularly if you are a book worm, or a budding author, (you get free attendance at talks that aren’t sold out, have a chance to chat to authors, particularly in the smaller events.) Of course you do have to get in the spirit of the festival by wearing a free lurid tee-shirt, or perhaps shuffling about in a funny costume, ha ha!!! While you’re stewarding you can listen to talks and generally have the opportunity to meet like minded people. Stewarding gives you a marvellous insight into the workings of event management too. So do have a go. My motto at the moment is try everything at least once!
Do pop over to Diana’s blog, Part Time Monster to see all about the weekly Coffee Share post:
If we were having coffee I’d say that my favourite has to be a Cappucino with lots of chocolate on top, perhaps shaped in a frothy heart. What’s yours? Do come and sit by me on this comfy sofa – I’ve got quite a story to tell you.. There are lots of photos of London that I want to show you – Camden, and Covent Garden too, so don’t gulp down your coffee and disappear, or you’ll miss out on all the fun. Oh, and there’s also a little something about NCS Live in London- my daughter won a couple of tickets.
So first things first, guess what, Diana’s Weekend Coffee Share post is now so popular it has been featured on The Daily Post. Wow, isn’t that fantastic! Well done to her. Here’s the link to her blog to see her post about that:
What have I been up to? I’ve made a decision this week – decision? Really? Whoa….. Yes, I did. I knocked that old procrastination into submission and put up my prologue and the first few chapters of my novel, The Curse of Time on Wattpad, so here’s the link to that if you’d like a nose.
So a big thank you to all that have been so kind as to do a shout out for me: the twitter response has been fantastic. I’m really thankful to have so many blogging buddies. And a big thank you in particular to Graeme, (who I met last year at the Blogger’s Bash,) who has so kindly given me oodles of feedback on my Prologue. Apparently he’s a bit of a fan of prologues. So do pop over to Graeme’s blog and say hi. He’s a keen sailor and his blog theme at the moment is water based posts, which I’m a big fan off – : http://graemecumming.net/
Enough of my waffleitis, I promised you some photos and a commentary about my recent trip to London so here goes:
Take a look at these Camden shop fronts, aren’t they amazing?
When you get a bit hungry, and thirsty but money is a bit tight where better than Wetherspoons for a drink and a meal?
This beauty caught my eye, obscuring just about everything else!
A lovely view greeted us.:
So eye catching:
The International Food Market in Camden was something else but very crowded, and my eldest daughter isn’t too keen on crowds, though she did manage to get a quick mouthful of some free grub! Here’s a quick snap as we’re leaving….
Travel in style in Covent Garden, perhaps a horse and cart?
This is when things got a bit silvery…. watch in awe…
Silver man’s tipping his cap.
I don’t know how Silver man did that! He must have so much upper body strength to support himself on a spade. Maybe he’s magical.. But what amuses me is the reaction of the bystanders to the left of him – those two young men, their reactions particularly the one wearing the stripy top. His reaction when the silver man tips his cap before doing his twirl is classic – he does a whoa…. and backs off in shock! Did you see it in the previous photo?
It’s been such an exciting week. No kidding…. My youngest daughter won a ticket to NCS YES Live & the NCS Awards 2016, “a show that celebrates the NCS social action stars of today and the future! It’s time to honour the 58,000 inspiring NCS grads of 2015 who dedicated more than 1.8m hours towards social action, raising more than £1.3m for good causes across England and Northern Ireland. Bring on the music and the fun!”
She was so excited!! Boy did it show! She was buzzing…
My eldest daughter also did NCS but it was a fairly low key event then compared to now. It has become so much more of a big deal. Nevertheless she loved it too, and perhaps that encouraged my youngest to join in with the NCS program too.
If you’re 15 – 17 and would like to find out more about taking part in NCS. Here’s the link to this great opportunity: http://www.ncsyes.co.uk/
“National Citizen Service (NCS) is an experience you really don’t want to miss. If you’re 15 to 17 years-old, this is your chance to embark on exhilarating challenges, make your mark and build skills for work and life. More than 200,000 young people have already said YES to NCS. Don’t. Miss. Out.”
Isn’t my daughter such a lucky girl? Perhaps I should get her to choose some lottery numbers this week….. Who knows, could be an idea… She brought along her friend to NCS Live, and the two of them absolutely loved it. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend as I’m not sixteen! Instead I had the opportunity to go with my eldest daughter, (who is on holiday from Uni,) and have a fun packed day in London – It’s my holiday time too as I’m working term time at the moment. Lucky old me!
We had a fantastic time hopping on and off the tube to Camden, Covent Garden, Oxford Circus and rounded off the night with an Italian dinner at Prezzo’s. It was such a fun packed but exhausting day. We didn’t get home until nearly midnight!! The funniest part of our day out had to be after we met up with the two NCS ‘ers at you guessed it at Top Shop. We took the Tottenham Court Road to our intended restaurant, near the London Palladium. My eldest daughter was heading up the stairs in the tube and then screeched. We all stopped in our tracks wondering what had made her scream. When we saw the tiny culprit we all joined in screaming… it was a tiny rat, or was it a mouse? Who knows….. anyway this poor creature was running down the stairs to greet my daughter as she was going up. Perhaps the response it got in return made this creature more scared of us than we were of it!! So I reckon I could claim that rat or mouse was our headliner!!! Boy did we scream….We have all the luck! Tinie Tempah eat your heart out.
That was a lovely cuppa. Sorry for being such a chatterbox, that last Tinie Tempah joke was a bit crazy you know me… Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing coffee with me.
Hope you enjoyed my Weekend Coffee Share.
Do pop over and join in the fun at Part Time Monster:
If We Were Having Coffee I’d have so much to say that quite possibly I might lose my voice!
It has been some week. My husband has been away skiing on his annual trip abroad with his male friends. This year they went to Ischgl in Austria , and unfortunately one of them had to get air lifted off the mountain in a helicopter. The poor chap had broken his shoulder in several places. So that wasn’t a particularly good start to the holiday week. Men and adrenalin! Speeding skis can be dangerous…
My mum and dad have been visiting Cambridge which has been very nice. We’ve been out for a lot of meals, and coffees this week. I was sad to see them go on Saturday, particularly when my dad said, “Bye my lovely girl,” as he left. That really touched me and I felt kind of weepy as they went. But I’m seeing them again soon, (it’s my mum’s birthday on 2nd of April and we are having a weekend away in Brighton to celebrate…)
We had a very odd dinner out on Friday night. My mum, dad, and my youngest daughter and her boyfriend came out with me for a meal to a local pub nearby. On the way there the car decided that it wasn’t really in the mood, and a nasty looking symbol lighted up on my dashboard, an engine warning light. This wasn’t looking good. Fortunately we managed to make it to the pub without incident. We began looking at the menu, and then suddenly Georgina’s boyfriend alerted us to the fact that my mum had inadvertently popped the menu on top of a tiny little tealight candle and it was burning a perfect hole right through. There was much commotion, but we managed to put out the burning circle, thanks to G’s boyfriend’s quite wittedness! My dad went of on a mini tirade about how they shouldn’t put candles on tables as they are fire hazards….. in between laughing and calming down dad we managed to decide on our chosen meals.
The waitress came to jot down our order and take away our menus. I have to say the burning smell was still lingering a bit…. but I don’t think she noticed that the burnt menu was slotted at the bottle of the pile by G’s boyfriend! Sitting immediately behind us were a family with young children. One, or perhaps was it two children, started to howl and dad being a typical man of his generation made a loud comment about how noisy they were!
Soon our meal arrived looking tasty, so that silenced us from further comment, and we calmed down, munching away quite happily.
Oh I forgot to mention the wine shenanigans. Take another sip of extra strength coffee – I must tell you about that! Mum and dad suggested ordering some wine, but G’s boyfriend said he wasn’t allowed alcohol in restaurants because of his age, and asked for a glass of water instead. Dad, being a somewhat eccentric old chap answered this with “A glass of water in a dirty glass?” Apparently this is a well known Grandfatherly joke as G’s boyfriend then said that his Grandad says this joke too! Or perhaps he was just being polite, can’t say I’ve ever heard of that one before! The tired looking waitress came to take our plates away and inadvertently knocked over my dad’s wine glass, which crashed to the floor shattering to tiny little shards which spread everywhere. Luckily no one was hurt but the wine splashed on my black trousers! Of course I pretended that it hadn’t as she looked so mortified. It wasn’t red wine so no real harm done. She replaced dad’s glass of wine with an even larger glass of wine, that my mum and dad ended up sharing.
What a first introduction to my extended family – I wonder whatever G’s boyfriend made of us! It was brave of him to come – he’s only fifteen, (but looks older,) my daughter’s sixteen! His age escaped my parents notice because on the way back was it my mum or dad that asked him if he’s learnt to drive yet…. Anyway, I’m glad to report that we got home safe and sound, with me at the wheel. It was a bit of a worry as we had to cross a railway track. I had visions of the engine cutting out just as we were crossing, and us having to abandon the car to the approaching train while we made a run for it. Which would be a frightening thought as my dad and mum can’t run but fortunately this didn’t happen. Cars, ugh, looks like the nuisance engine will have to make a visit to the garage….
That sounds like it should be the end of my If I Was Having Coffee post but no it’s not quite.. On Saturday I popped into town to meet an old friend of mine and we went to a favourite haunt of mine – Jamaican Blue, a lovely little coffee house/restaurant in Cambridge. It was nice catching up with my friend. Our daughters have been friends since infants so the pair of them went off shopping, while we sipped our lattes and had a chat. Anyway after a time I began to talk to my friend about the title of my novel, several possible names came to mind: The Crystal Cottage, Krystallos, The Golden Healer, and then after we chatted some more I came up with a new possibility : The Curse of Time. She liked it. I liked it. Somehow The Curse of Time has a certain ring to it … do let me know if you like the sound of it.
So that’s it more or less, my first If We Were Having Coffee post. I’ve been meaning to do one of these for ages. I am a right old chatterbox once you get to know me…
If you’d like to join in with Diana’s Weekend Coffee Share at Part Time Monster here’s the link: