Hughs Views and News

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Distance

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I didn’t know if I would find a photo for Hugh’s Weekly Photo prompt- distance – but it’s strange how sometimes distant things can literally be on your doorstep. Yesterday a flower peeped out from above me as I walked home from work. I saw a tempting triangle of sky – a promise of a mysterious place beyond it to explore. This little piece of sky is my distance shot, it leads to the river pathway that exists in my novel The Curse of Time, which is currently with beta readers awaiting critique. So distance can sometimes refer to something within your grasp which still seems far away like my  intention to publish. Both that piece of sky and my goals are a step away but if I try really hard, and believe in myself I will get there!

In Hugh’s words: For this week’s photo challenge take or choose a photo that shows an object that is in the distance. Maybe it’s a building or a wonderful view that contains an interesting object or scene that, although it is in the distance, shows up really well in the photo? Maybe you can spot where you are headed to from a plane or train and you’ve managed to capture it?

Want to join the fun? Here’s what you need to do.

1. Take or choose a photo that you’ve taken which defines Distance.
2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 26 – ‘Distance’
3. Add the photo(s) you have taken to the post and tell us a little about what you are showing.
4. Create a pingback to this post or leave a link to your post in the comments section so other participants can view the post.

Not sure how to create a pingback? Click here for a step by step guide on how to create one.

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Do pop over to Hugh’s blog to join in the challenge: Hugh’s Photography Challenge: Distance

Hope you like my distance shot. Have a lovely week…

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

My fun (totally not serious but nevertheless 90% true,) author bio on Wattpad – Link below.

Marjorie Mallon was born in Lion City: Singapore. She grew up in a mountainous court in Hong Kong. Her crazy parents dragged her  spotty soul away from her exotic childhood and her much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. There she mastered Scottish country dancing, haggis bashing, bagpipe playing and a whole new Och Aye lingo. 
As a teenager she travelled to many far flung destinations to visit her abacus wielding wayfarer dad. On one such occasion a  barracuda swam by. It stopped to view her  bikini clad body, longing to take a big bite. With dogs' fangs replacing barracudas' teeth, she returned to her mother's birthplace: Kuching, Cat City. There, Blackie, a black-hearted dog sniffed her frightened butt, whimpered and ran away! Shortly after this extraordinary event an angry female Orang-Utan chased her unfit ass out of the Malaysian jungle believing that she was a threat to her babies! She still monkeys about, would love to own a cat, or a replacement Topsy but refuses to entertain  murderous dogs, or over-protective monkeys.
It's rumoured that she lives in the Venice of Cambridge, with her six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and her two enchanted daughters. 
After such an upbringing her author's mind has taken total leave of its senses. When she's not writing, she eats exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surfs to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out she practises Tai Chi and Yoga on the crest of a wave. If the mood takes her she goes snorkelling with mermaids, or signs up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes. 

She is a child of the light and the dark. Her motto is simply this: Do what you love,  stay true to your heart's desires, remain young at heart, and  inspire others to do so, even if it appears that the odds are stacked like black hearted shadows against you...

My Links: 

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Goodreads

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Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

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This is my photo for Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge – the theme this week is Solitude.

It is of Brighton beach – I took it ages ago when I went there with my hubby for a weekend away. So I wasn’t alone, but the beach was pretty deserted. Just me and my man! This photo really captured a moment of solitude to me, as I stared out to the ocean and surrendered my thoughts to the power of the sea. It is never to be taken for granted, the sea is a mighty force, even on Brighton seafront!

If I had to be alone anywhere it would be beside the sea.

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To join in with Hugh’s challenge follow the link:

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http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/04/05/hughs-weekly-photo-challenge-week-20-solitude/

On Saturday I will be featuring Brighton in my #WeekendCoffeeShare post so do keep an eye out for that…….

Also I’d like to mention that the first few chapters of my novel, The Curse of Time are now on Wattpad:  https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/67166165-the-curse-of-time

Thanks to everyone who has visited me on Wattpad and tweeted about it, I really do appreciate it.

Before I go I’d just like to ask: Do you love the sea too? Do you have a favourite seaside town? Happiest beach memory?

Bye for now,

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https://www.instagram.com/kyrosmagica/

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge Week 18 – Sweet

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I’ve taken the perfect photo for Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge, except it’s not Easter related, so no Easter eggs, bunnies, or such like. Never mind,  you can’t get more sweet than this sticky, tasty Chelsea bun which I had the pleasure of eating at Fitzbillies in Cambridge. Ooh, I’ll definitely be going back…. Look at that –  doesn’t it make your mouth water?… heaven. Talk about sweet perfection. Yum.

Fitzbillies Chelsea buns are famous, now I can see why. It’s so glossy, and beautiful it’s almost criminal to eat it – but I did and it was de -li- ci-ou-s!

I went to Fitzbillies with my eldest daughter, adding to the sweetness of the day. She’s just back home from university. I took a lovely photo of her but she asked me not to put it on my blog as she didn’t like it! Humph. So instead I thought I’d put up this old photo of my  two daughters taken many years ago looking particularly sweet. My youngest Georgina is on the left posing for the camera and Natasha is on right looking all sweet and smiley. This cute photo graces my desk as I write.

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Here’s me looking hungry just before I was about to devour my Chelsea bun.

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I’m so glad I visited Fitzbillies: http://www.fitzbillies.com/

The café features in the novel I am currently editing. As well as my daughter’s lovely company, a visit there gave me an opportunity to check out the ambiance, the buns, the décor and perhaps add some finishing touches to that particular chapter… Wannabe authors are always up to something!  Obsessed, we are obsessed! But that’s okay as my daughter Natasha writes too. She understands!

Now I am personally acquainted with Fitzbillies scrumptious Chelsea buns, it’s bound to add a certain something to the writing mix I reckon.. Don’t you?

It was a lovely day, and we followed it with a visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum to see their current exhibition: Death on the Nile: http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/news/secrets-ancient-egyptian-artisans-show-death-nile

Very fascinating.. Death on the Nile: Uncovering the afterlife of ancient Egypt runs from now until 22 May 2016. Admission is free. Before you go don’t forget to have a Chelsea bun!

I came across a review of the Death on the Nile exhibition on WordPress.

Here’s a link to that:

https://semperexplorandum.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/exhibition-reviews-ancient-egypt-special/

Do pop over to Hugh’s blog to join in his photo challenge: http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/03/22/hughs-weekly-photo-challenge-week-18-sweet/

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Do you have a favourite sweet that you like? Or a café that is your no. 1 haunt? I’d love to hear your views.

Bye for now.

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

My links: 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kyrosmagica/
Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/kyrosmagica/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20419289-marje-mallon
Tumblr: http://kyrosmagica.tumblr.com/

 

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge week 13 Love

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What do I love? The answer lies in so many directions that I am almost staggered wondering what to post. I love my family, my hubby, my friends, writing, blogging, books, crying… wait a minute I said crying. What? I mean to say that I love books that stir the emotions, make me cry, get me reflecting….

I just finished one such book, boy did it make me cry, Me Before You By Jojo Moyes.

So I love all sorts of things. But one of my great loves is my old home town of Edinburgh. I just love visiting Edinburgh lapping up all that this great city has to offer.

If you’re a regular visitor to my blog you might have seen my posts about Edinburgh. So surprise surprise my photo this week is something I came across whilst in Edinburgh this half term. I found it in a place that I have many fond memories of. The photo was taken in The Botanic Gardens, right outside an art gallery. Yes, I’m kind of partial to them too…

I don’t know quite what it was about this particular statue that grabbed my attention, but whatever it was it gripped me. It might have been her tummy, I have one of those, I may be skinny but my tummy has always been a bit rounded. Or it might be the way she was twisting her arm behind her back in a yoga stretch. Perhaps that was it. Anyway the fact that I noticed her was saying something as on this trip I was busy spending time with family, oh and eating a lot. That is one of my other loves. I ate lots and lots of Asian food. My mum is a wonderful cook, so we had many tasty meals but as well as this we visited a particularly fine Malaysian restaurant in Glasgow called, Rumours Kopitiam. By the way kopitiam or kopi tiam is the word for a coffee shop in Southeast Asia. The  interior of this little restaurant wasn’t exactly flashy but the food was excellent and the lunch menu’s really good value for money.  Our waitress had a great sense of humour she asked my daughter if she liked chilli, she said yes, so she made sure that she was more than adequately supplied with lots of them! That’ll teach her….. The Singapore noodles were to die for. So if you are in Glasgow give Kopitiam a go.

On this week away I didn’t really do much in the way of blogging or Instagram. Or visit half of the places I had intended to. Which isn’t like me but all that eating, and chatting to family was taking up all of my time. This statue wasn’t having it she just begged me to photograph her, she pointed her belly at me accusingly and twisted my arm! What astonished me about it all was this. When I came back to Cambridge I did some research and found that she had just been moved back to this particular spot. I came back to Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and so did she…. A pair of kindred spirits. How sweet. She is Reg Butler’s cast bronze sculpture, entitled Girl. She is now to be seen outside Inverleith House, right beside the gallery of modern art.

More about her reappearance here:

http://www.rbge.org.uk/about-us/news/stories/butlers-girl-comes-home

So a bit of a meandering kind of love but there you have it. Hope Hugh approves. This is my entry for Hugh’s photography challenge this week.

http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/02/16/hughs-weekly-photo-challenge-week-13-love/

 

Hope you like my photo and my tale of my many loves: eating, reading, writing, art, statues, and spending time with family in my favourite Scottish city, Edinburgh. Sorry, Glasgow, I love you too!! Especially your Kopitiam….

 

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge Week 10 Faces

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When I saw Hugh’s Photo Challenge this week I knew that I had to join in the fun.

I had just the photo in mind, and here he is, Mr Frowning Tree.

Isn’t he extraordinary?

I photographed him some time ago when I was working as a Christmas temp at John Lewis. I was on my way to work one morning, and there he was greeting me with that wretched face. I had to stop and photograph him, I couldn’t walk pass without doing so. I have to admit that on that particular morning I just wasn’t in the mood for work. He knew it. I knew it. I just wanted  to spend time blogging or writing!! Anyway, I saw his sad face and his monumental frown had me in stitches.  He knew what I was thinking: There is nothing as fulfilling as spending time being creative. So that sad tree kind of frowned in sympathy, cheeky so and so….

Today, I was with my daughter in Ely. We were prom dress shopping. We went to a charming shop called Something Special and we found just the right one. The amazing thing was it wasn’t one she had picked. I spotted it! C’est Moi, the Fashionista! It had no price tag on. Eek, but she tried it on anyway, and I prayed it wouldn’t be too expensive. It fitted her like a glove. This in itself was a big bonus as she is so petite that finding a dress is no easy feat. This is the moment when she transformed from a very pretty sixteen year old into classy, and beautiful. The dress is simple, elegant, with just the right amount of detail for her to look like a total knock out.

She just loved it. Of course this midnight blue gown was way over my intended budget. I tried to make her see sense but as we left the shop, she kind of worked her magic on me. Of course she convinced me!! We only walked a few yards down the road, and then we were heading our way back to the shop much to the shop assistant’s amusement and the rest is history. Anyway, that sad tree has a lot to answer for, he’s probably chuckling now, cracking his bark, with splinters of spontaneous laughter. My poor wee bank account…..

So how did my daughter manage to work her magic on me?

Easy.

We mothers just can’t resist their daughters when they look so beautiful. But, as an insurance policy she promised to get A’s and B’s in her GCSE’s and to help with the price tag…. Clever lass. So I can’t complain.  Perhaps this will spur her on to do extraordinary things….

This is when my day out with my daughter turned into an extraordinary day.

We had such a lovely day in Ely, it was such fun. The sun shone. We walked down to the waterfront and took loads of photographs. This is a common interest as we are both photography mad. I banished the thought of my money blues by suggesting that we visit a free event at the Babylon Gallery. Yes free, can you imagine? The Gallery is right on the waterfront. There is a very interesting exhibition at the moment called Time and Time Again, by Helena g Anderson from 20-31 January. Today is the last day, so hurry if you want to go see it.  It totally took my mind off the state of my bank balance. In fact it was such a wonderful idea to go, as my daughter is doing GCSE Textiles and is a keen photographer and this exhibition really inspired her.  The main theme of the exhibition is “an opportunity to look at the changing nature of time on the human condition, where one sees the body deteriorate but the soul remain omnipresent. Women and girls were photographed in 10-year increments, ranging from 0 to 100 years old.”

Startlingly we recognised one of the photographed faces, a friend of my daughters. Isn’t that quite amazing? It can only happen in Ely you know, you must visit!

More about Babylon Gallery here:  http://www.babylonarts.org.uk/gallery/view,time-and-time-again-helena-g-anderson-2031-january_1906.htm

My photos of Ely will shortly be on my Instagram account so if you’d like to see them please follow the link: https://www.instagram.com/kyrosmagica/

I just love Ely. It is a must see place to visit, with its beautiful cathedral, lovely places to eat, riverside restaurants, and independent bookshops.  Moreover, I just love spending time with my daughters, even when they cost me a fortune.  I even found a dress for the Bloggers Bash too. It was in the same shop, fortunately the price wasn’t in the same frowning price tag league!!! But it was really pretty. So two dresses bought in one day, ouch…. what a day!!

Yes, I’m intending on going to the Bash again this year. I went last year and it was such fun. A day not to miss….

More about the Bloggers Bash this year via Sacha Black’s blog. The date is 11th of June, so do put it in your calendar. By all accounts it sounds like it’s going to be an awesome event. I just can’t wait.

http://sachablack.co.uk/2015/10/01/the-bash-is-back-the-second-annual-bloggersbash-2016/

And my account of last year’s event:

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/the-bloggers-bash-oh-what-a-day/

Want to meet the organisers and attendees from last year? :

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/meet-the-bloggers-who-attended-the-first-annual-bloggersbash-held-in-london-on-august-1st-2015/

 

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Here’s the link to Hugh’s blog if you’d like to join in his photography challenge:

http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/01/26/hughs-weekly-photo-challenge-week-10-faces/

Here’s Hugh’s advice on what to do if you want to join in:

This week take a photo of an object that looks like it has a face. Rather than taking photos of the faces of people or animals try and capture an object that looks like it has a face.

Want to join the fun? Here’s what you need to do.
1. Take a photo of an object that looks like it has a face.
2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 10 – Faces.”
3. Add the photo(s) you have taken to the post and tell us a little about what you are showing.
4. Create a pingback to this post or leave a link to your post in the comments section below so that other participants can view your post.

 

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica XX

Guest Post by Hugh Roberts – How to Become a Successful Blogger!

Source: https://jemsbooks.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/guest-post-by-blogger-hugh-roberts-how-to-become-a-successful-blogger/

Hugh is doing a series of guest posts on Janice’s blog Jemsbooks about blogging – this first one is all about creating a wonderful About Me page. The About Me page is and always should be your friendly welcoming page, and he explains how to achieve a first class About Me page and sustain it to the max in this wonderful post.

Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 8 – Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge

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Hugh  from Hugh’s Views and News is sponsoring his Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge again this year. Last year’s challenge was a great success!

Do you want to join in with Hugh’s Photo Tree Topper Challenge?  Here is all you have to do:

From Hugh’s blog: “Here’s how you can all join in and help Angela, Macy, Toby, and I raise £250 for The Dogs Trust.”

1. Take a photo of what sits on top of your Christmas tree.
2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 8 – Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge.”
3. Add the photo(s) you have taken to the post and tell us a little about what you are showing.
4. Create a pingback to Hugh’s post or leave a link to your post in the comments section of Hugh’s post so that other participants can view your post.

The challenge is open until Tuesday 5th January 2016 and more details can be found on Hugh’s and Colleen’s blog:

http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2015/12/14/hughs-photo-challenge-week-8-charity-christmas-tree-topper-challenge/

http://silverthreading.com/2014/12/19/heres-whats-on-top-of-my-christmas-tree-whats-on-yours/

Please click on the link The Dogs Trust if you would like to make any donations directly to The Dogs Trust, in UK. Or alternatively in America, you could consider making a donation to the Humane Society of the United States or a local Humane Society in your own hometown.This is not compulsory to enter in the challenge, but if you would like to do so that would no doubt be more than welcome!

Sadly I don’t have a dog myself nowadays but I did as a child, Topsy, a cute little black and white cheeky rascal who used to like eating all sorts of things that weren’t particularly good for a dog! Look at that tiny frame it disguises a hearty appetite for inedible things! I remember one year she ate a balloon at my birthday party. Thank goodness she was okay no harm done. Also one year she ran off and had a love affair with a local dog, we were really worried that she had been lost for good but she reappeared with her guilty tail between her legs…

So to get into the spirit of celebrating man’s best furry friend here are a couple of photos of Topsy:

First this photo is of mum and I on our balcony in Hong Kong, I used to live there when I was little. Actually this kind of captures cheeky me and rascal Topsy pretty well I reckon! My mum is smiling but in a hesitant way as if she knows that she has a handful there…

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This photograph below is of Topsy, my brother Donald and my dad Ronald looking all smiley, but Topsy is a bit sad, she is thinking of her wild escapade with her lost love….

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As well as participating in the Tree Top Challenge and chatting about dogs I am also joining in Colleen at Silver Threading’s lovely idea to share Christmas Trees from Around The World, so if you’d like to join in with this particular challenge don’t forget to say where you are! My tree is situated at my home in Cambridge, England.

Here’s the link to join in Colleen’s Trees Around The World:

http://silverthreading.com/2015/12/06/christmas-trees-around-the-world/

At the weekend I went out with my husband and my youngest daughter to find a lovely tree at our nearby garden centre. At that point in time my  eldest was still at University so unfortunately she missed this trip but she’s back home today, it’s so lovely to see her, and now she has seen the tree too.

I just love a real tree, don’t you?

 

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Especially when it is lit up.

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I knew it was the one as soon as my husband pulled it out from amongst an array of other trees it had such lovely symmetry and a fullness that caught my eye. So I said, “That’s the one.” Of course my husband still pulled out a few other likely contenders but I got my way in the end! I can be quite stubborn at times….

I decorated our beautiful Christmas tree with my youngest daughter but to my dismay we couldn’t find the angel to top the tree, so I asked my husband if he could get me another one, but he didn’t manage to find one, he was too busy buying the groceries! Just as well, as I found her hiding in amongst a large bag of Christmas gift tags and wrapping paper. For some reason she wasn’t in the bubble wrap with the other Christmas baubles. Perhaps she felt a bit too grand to be stuck there amongst the bawdy riff raff!

Now she may look like she’s sleeping on top of my tree but don’t let that fool you, she knows what’s what! She’s keeping a look out for any sneaky opening presents before Christmas, that is not allowed.

Thanks for popping by to see my tree and my childhood dog and for joining in the Christmas festivities Kyrosmagica  style, and don’t forget to pop over to Colleen and Hugh’s blog to join in the challenges.

 

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 2 – What’s in the Cupboard?

I’m joining in week 2 of Hugh’s photo Challenge.

Here are the rules from Hugh’s blog:

Fancy joining in the fun?  Here’s what you need to do.

1. Take a photo of either the contents of a cupboard or of just one item from a cupboard.
2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 2 – What’s in the Cupboard?”
3. Add the photo you have taken to the post and tell us a little about what you are showing us.
4. Create a pingback to this post or leave a link to your post in the comments section below so that other participants can view your post.

 

My photo:

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This is my new kitchen display cabinet, so I thought I’d photograph these pretty assorted fairies under the spotlight, in the new, clean dustless shelf! A perfect spot to show off their prettiness. The top shelf has a little ornamental container with houses my crystals. I love crystals so it’s not surprising that they feature in my writing! More about that to come, I will be looking for beta readers for my novel so keep a look out for posts.

You can see the individual china angels and my crystals in close up on my Instagram account: https://instagram.com/kyrosmagica/

Link to Hugh’s post: http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2015/10/17/hughs-photo-challenge-week-2-whats-in-the-cupboard/

Hope you enjoy the fairies. These were a gift from my mother, a collection that she gave to my daughters. Now that they are older and have lost interest in them, I keep them as a keepsake, a reminder of them being little. Perhaps one day when they are older, past their teenage years they will appreciate them again!

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

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