Photography

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Tuesday Challenge No. 54: GHOST & HAUNT

 

I dream in colour,

But now everything is dark,

Where has the light gone?

Oh, cruel leafy canopy?

No green meadow, just blue thoughts.

A spectre haunts me,

Through the trees he drifts slowly,

I hear no weeping,

Just a tall, grey wall of sighs,

Twigs snap, and nothing changes.

 

Oh dear, that was sad and depressing! …. Why am I always drawn to writing such misery?  Don’t answer that!

Hope you like my Tanka’s (even if they’re sad,) and the contrasting photos I took of the trees.

To join in with Colleen’s challenge follow the link: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/10/10/colleens-weekly-poetry-tuesday-challenge-no-54-ghost-haunt/

Bye for now, time for a smiley Sunday face! It had to be done!

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My social media links:
Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon  @curseof_time
Instagram
Facebook

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Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies. Click on Colleen’s and Debby’s photos to be directed to their awesome blogs. These ladies rock!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 48 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: STONE & TURN

My Tanka this week is just a funny story really. This is what happened…

 

The day before our daughter Tasha was due to go to South Korea to teach English as a foreign language my youngest disappeared. She’d been out for a driving lesson and no one had heard from her. Her mobile had been left on the bed with her debit card too… now we knew something was up. How strange. Hours later she turned up safe and well… at home where she’d been all along! No one had seen her, or heard her. She’d been watching TV in the downstairs lounge, and had crept back up to her bed and scooted under the duvet, all without anyone noticing – that’s taking playing at hiding, just chilling to a new level!

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Equally as strange was this cloud formation Tasha and I had seen. The photo doesn’t do it justice, it resembled a giant bird taking flight and within twenty four hours that’s just what Tasha did – flew away.

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Yesterday morning,  my husband drove us to Heathrow so that Tasha could catch her flight to Seoul, and then on to Busan. I knew I’d miss her – I’d been taking every opportunity to spend time with her. I have to admit I was overwhelmed by my emotions. As she left for the departure gate my eyes filled with tears and my youngest Gina saw me crying and started to cry a bit too. For a moment it brought back memories to three years ago when we dropped Tasha off in Brighton to begin her University course. Miraculously, I hadn’t cried then, but I made up for the lack of tears by crying spectacularly now!

It isn’t easy to see your children leave for a year but we couldn’t be more proud of her. It takes courage to embark upon  a life-changing adventure when you are only twenty one. Or craziness! There’s a lot of her grandfather in her. My dad left Scotland and travelled to the Far East many, many years ago. At the time, he was told that he was crazy to do so and now it seems that his granddaughter is now following in his footsteps.

I hope you enjoyed this Tanka and personal anecdote.

If you have sons or daughters leaving home to go far away, perhaps to study or to work, I’d love to hear your experiences, let’s share a tear or two.

Much love,

Bye for now,

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To join in with Colleen’s wonderful poetry challenge:  https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/08/29/colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-no-48-haiku-tanka-haibun-stone-turn/

My social media links:

Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies. Click on Colleen’s and Debby’s photos to be directed to their awesome blogs. These ladies rock!

Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook

Twitter:@Marjorie_Mallon
Twitter: @curseof_time

Instagram

Facebook

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The Kelpies, a pink bus shelter and two taxi drivers

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I’ve been longing to see the Kelpies, two enormous horse sculptures that live in Falkirk, Scotland.  This had been on my bucket list of things to do whilst up in Edinburgh. Not only did I come face to face with the Kelpies I also met two entertaining taxi drivers and came across a bright pink bus shelter with no buses. Such is Scotland, it has a charm  you can’t hope to find anywhere else in the world and that is why I love it so.

Mum and I set off the day after I arrived in Edinburgh. The weather seemed fair, so I wasn’t about to take any chances.  In Scotland when it’s dry you go out, you don’t wait for the next day!

We travelled by train and arrived at Falkirk High hoping to take the bus to the Kelpies. As we went off in search of a bus we walked past three taxi drivers having a chat. I sensed that these three were not your ordinary run of the mill taxi drivers. The nearby bus stop had a timetable that stated a half an hour wait so mum and I decided to opt for a taxi.

This is when the fun began!

We asked the three taxi drivers if one of them could take us to see the Kelpies. They greeted us with enthusiasm, told us the price and suggested that we take the taxi at the front. It turned out that our driver had a dual career. He’d grown tired of plumbing and now worked as a taxi driver/plumber. He had a fine line of chat that could win him a job as a chat show host or a comedian at the Edinburgh Fringe. I’m not joking! His banter started as soon as we asked him the price to take us to the Kelpies. He said Scottish folk get a special rate of six or seven pounds but the English have to pay ten. Obviously, he had heard I live in Cambridge!

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Happy Easter!!!

Happy Easter

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.

I’m still on a bit of a blogging break until my eldest daughter returns to University so will be somewhat scarce in blogging land.

I had a wonderful holiday up in Edinburgh but it was all too short…

Here are some of my photos:

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That’s one of me and my daughter Georgina before I had my lunch…. I tend to shrink when I’m hungry! We were at a very nice restaurant called The Railbridge Bistro in South Queensferry which overlooks the bridges and has haggis on the menu!

And here’s my lovely mum and dad… Missing them…

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My dad hates the cold, and though the view at South Queensferry is amazing it was bitterly chilly… My mum looks okay, in fact she dares to look a bit amused but poor dad…

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Since I’ve been back in Cambridge, I’ve had a lovely time with my eldest daughter who is visiting from University.

Recently we went out to a cafe in Cambridge…

And she approved of my photo…  The drink looks like some sort of Dr Who concoction but I believe it is a green tea matcha. Oh, by the way did you see the Dr Who episode last night? If you did I bet you didn’t dare have a shower or bath before bedtime. I love it when Dr Who gets all scary!

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Then, there’s me all dressed up as I had work afterwards. Recently, I started working part-time at Ann Summers – which is a strangest job I have ever had! It’s a bit like marmite some days I love it, some days I hate it! Ha ha…. It’s a tricky one for an introvert with extrovert tendencies. Anyway, that plate in front of me is the remains of a very tasty Orange and Polenta cake that we shared at Espresso Library cafe in Cambridge.

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Before I go let me say a big thank you to all the contributors to my Facebook Rainbow Support Club in my absence.

Here are just some of the wonderful links that have appeared:

http://marshajustwrites.com/accidental-tourist/

https://dgkayewriter.com/who-has-a-new-book-the-swamp-fairy-colleen-cheseboro/

http://allanhudson.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/4q-interview-and-excerpt-with-guest.html

https://steviet3.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/friday-roundup-on-a-thursday-13th-april/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-book-reading-and-interview-d-g-kaye/

https://jennyinneverland.com/2017/04/14/bloggers-revealed/

https://scvincent.com/2017/04/12/guest-author-sarah-brentyn-where-i-spin-self-doubt-into-a-post/

https://scvincent.com/2017/04/14/guest-author-d-wallace-peach-room-to-breathe/

All the contributors have done a fabulous job of making the page a fantastic resource of information, help, and collaboration for fellow writers/bloggers.

Do pop over to the club page and take a look, and come give the club some love: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club.

If you’d like to join the club please do message myself either in the comment below or contact me on my email marjma2014@gmail.com, or chat about it with Colleen Chesebro or Debby Gies, my two fabulous blogging buddies who administer the running of the club with me.

All the best for a lovely Easter.

Do pop over to my Instagram page to see the rest of my photos: My Instagram

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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

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Hi,

I found this graphic on Canva for Mother’s day and it really spoke to me… what would we do without our mothers? Well, we wouldn’t even exist without mum, and of course dad!

Here’s an old photo of my mum and dad, but it is one of my favourites….. I love photos that make you wonder what had just been said and this one definitely does that!

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Without mothers, we wouldn’t have that special someone to turn to for a hug and a laugh, who listens and is always there for us. Mum is our confidante, (when we get a little older!) a best friend, a rock through times of crisis, and of course a very handy taxi service, cook, laundry lady and homework help! Mum is the supreme multi-tasker, extraordinaire!

Basically, mums are just so lovable. Mums rock!  Hope you have a very enjoyable and relaxing mother’s day.

Let me know in the comments what you are up to…

Bye for now,

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#Review of Better Blogging With Photography by Terry Webster Schrandt

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Terri inspires the reader with this wonderful quote right at the beginning setting the tone for her clear, concise and friendly little book:

Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.’ Bruno Barley.

Isn’t that the absolute truth? It’s remarkable how the medium of photography can draw people together from different cultural backgrounds in a common moment of wonder. Curious, I googled Bruno Barley and found these stunning examples of his work: Pinterest examples of Bruno Barley’s photography. Wow, I just love photography!

Terri kicks off her book with a simple premise –  Why? Why use photography on your blog? The answer, is of course, simple – images draw attention, interest, break up text, make your blog post more interesting and memorable.

She adds tips on how to –

  • Create an engaging profile.
  • Ways to make your sidebar design attractive.
  • How to design a defining header.
  • Adding widgets and not overloading your posts with too many images.

Terri warns about the dangers of using images without consent on your blog even if the images happen to be from friends, and particularly if the photos are randomly found on google.  The Rule is: Always get written consent – though an email will do.

There’s an interesting section on how to use old images and give them a new lease of life. I read this part with great interest.  Recently, I created a scrapbook of images for my dad for his birthday, (the first few photos you can see here,): My Instagram page Kyrosmagica

Then Terri mentions how to find free images for your blog via sites such as Canva and Picmonkey, both of which I have used, and recommend.

There are chapters on how to:

  • Crop your photos, edit, add captions, size and add watermarks. Again, I was particularly interested in the section on watermarks as this is something I still have to try…  Terri suggests using tutorials on Pinterest and picmonkey.
  • Organising images, in storage solutions such as Dropbox, which I still have to investigate.
  • Participating in or holding photography link parties and joining in photo challenges, such as  Norm’s Thursday Doors. I enjoy taking part time permitting…
  • Using quotes to inspire, creating blog banners or blog badges. Here’s the link to the tutorial and other excellent blogging suggestions via Diana’s Adventures: Dianas Adventures – Tips for new bloggers
  • A section on photo-friendly social networking sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, plus a fantastic resources page.

Would I recommend it? Are you kidding?  Most definitely. I just wished I’d read this book years ago when I started blogging – it would have helped me so much. I found out the hard way how to do much of what Terri mentions, but I still have a lot to learn.

Don’t forget to follow Terri on Instagram: Terri Webster Schrandt – Instagram

If you’d like to follow me on Instagram too, LOL… (cheeky personal plug,)  – find me here:  My Instagram Page: Kyrosmagica

My rating.

A richly deserved 5 stars.. 🙂

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

 

 

Before I fly off to take some photos to add to my Instagram feed let me point you in the direction of this wonderful free resource from Terri: Second Wind Leisure – How To Get Hundreds of Free Photos for Your Blog

Bye for now, photo enthusiasts!

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Author/Blogger Spotlight: Second Wind Leisure – Terri Webster Schrandt

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Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Terri Webster Schrandt, author, blogger, leisure expert. This lady knows all there is to know about spending our precious leisure time wisely, and to add to her accomplishments she has recently released an e-book entitled – Better Blogging With Photography.

Being a huge fan of photography I couldn’t agree more, there’s nothing quite like an appealing photograph to catch the readers eye. Without it a blog post can be easily overlooked.

Why oh why didn’t I think of writing a book on this subject? Ah, I really need to get a grip….Terri you stole this possibility from my grasp, how could you? LOL !!! It must be all that time you spend pursuing a diverse range of leisure activities – ‘windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), camping, reading, writing, teaching, walking the dogs, traveling,’ that’s quite a list Terri. Means you must be super fit, and mentally agile. Perhaps  I need to take up a few more exercise/sporting activities other than just tai chi….

Never mind, I must focus, or I’ll get distracted. Marje aka Kyrosmagica does tend to get a bit flighty at times….

So, who is our blogging friend Terri?

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Terri’s Bio, Author Central

amazon.com/author/terriwebsterschrandt  

Terri is a non-fiction writer and retired recreation and parks practitioner living in Northern California. As a university lecturer teaching leisure education in the recreation and parks major, Terri takes leisure very seriously because it involves one-third of our lives…really!

Obtaining a Master’s Degree at age 50, Terri wrote her thesis on the Four Generations in the Workplace, sparking her love of writing at midlife. In addition to writing and blogging, she offers consultation services and conducts and presents workshops for a variety of organizations.

Second Wind Leisure Perspectives is her blog about living a leisure lifestyle.

Her active lifestyle involves windsurfing, stand-up paddling, camping, reading, writing, walking the dogs, traveling, and…

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Short Book description:

Better Blogging with Photography: Maximize Your Blog Using Your Own Images

 

There is truth to the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. As a blogger, are you weary of constantly hunting for images to illustrate the subject of your blog posts?

 

Perhaps you are a new blogger struggling to get more readers. Or a seasoned blogger continually seeking inspiration for quality blog posts.

 

This guidebook is designed to help you utilize your own images on your blog or website.

 

While free image sites abound, there are limitations to using so-called “free” images. Gone are the days when bloggers can innocently copy and paste an image from the web and paste it into their blog post. After reading this short guidebook, you will want to grab your smart phone or inexpensive digital camera and start taking photos!

Amazon Buying Link – Better Blogging With Photography

Terri Webster Schrandt – Goodreads

 

 

Her early years…

 

I’m told that at age 4, I began reading. Somewhere there is an old, grainy polaroid of me laying on the floor holding an oversized book upside down in my two-year old hands. Books meant something to me even then. 

In my 50s, I found my second act, which consists of living my life around leisure, instead of the other way around. At age 49 I discovered the new love of my life who introduced me to windsurfing and stand-up paddling. At age 50 I obtained my master’s degree. At age 51, I became an adjunct university lecturer. At age 55, I retired from 30+ years as a recreation and leisure practitioner. At age 56 I self-published my first eBook.
As a leisure educator, I blog about my experiences. It is my passion to educate people about leisure… one blog at a time. I love photography and recently bought a “real” camera. Beautiful images are worth a thousand words, or maybe no words at all if the image is powerful enough.

Terri just posted a wonderful article about the hazards of uploading photos that might appear to be free but aren’t. With this in mind she is offering free images to her followers.

Do follow this link to find out more:

https://secondwindleisure.com/2017/02/02/how-to-get-hundreds-of-free-photos-for-your-blog


 

#Weekend Coffee Share: My birthday and Other News…

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Welcome to Kyrosmagica,

Pull up a cosy chair and get comfortable –  I have so much to tell you. It has been quite a week of colourful excitement, fun and frolics.  It’s been my birthday week so let me suggest a mug of hot chocolate topped with chocolate drizzled marshmallows…. Why not? Or if you fancy a Martini Espresso do join me in a moment…

In the meantime what about a journey back  in time in my special phone booth… I am getting older by the minute… on the bright side I’m not as ancient as these dinosaurs

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We have a tradition in my family – my mum and dad decided that birthdays should last longer than a day. So when it’s anyone’s birthday we celebrate for a whole darn week! Not just a single day, we like to make it last, and last and last, …. ad infinitum.

So my fun week started off last Sunday with a trip to London with my two daughters. We made quite a day of it visiting Camden food market, (eating yummy Beef Rendang – which is a spicy Malaysian dish,) walking along the river from Camden food market, and then taking a bus to Covent garden, as the tube station was shut. My poor wee legs.

Here’s some photos that I’d like to share with you.

My keen photographer daughter Georgina is on the right clutching her camera, Natasha is to the left of her, our model for the day!

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What about a little oriental charm along the way?  A beautiful Chinese restaurant that we discovered floating on the water! http://www.fengshang.co.uk/

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We were in search of graffiti to photograph and we found plenty.

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Sometimes you need someone special in the foreground to make it especially interesting….

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What else did I do this week?

  • I went to a make up evening with my youngest daughter – the launch party for the new John Lewis beauty hall which was great fun. I nearly won the raffle prize but unfortunately I lost it by one number. My raffle ticket was something like 365, and the winning number was 364. A bit of a disappointment – but life isn’t all about winning, is it? It’s about experiences. Doing the things you love with the family and friends you love. That’s what truly counts.
  • I bought a couple of new books at Ruth Hatfield’s book launch. I’ve got a bit of catching up to do, I read the first in this series a while ago:

My review of The Book of Storms by Ruth Hatfield

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  • I went out for a lovely birthday lunch with my hubby, and youngest daughter.

So before this week ends I’d just like to raise a glass to you, my followers, to thank you for your  continued support in this here blog. It means the world to me. In fact I’d love to raise a glass of Espresso Martini to you.

Cheers. Love ya..from the real me, no cartoon this time!

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The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster  There is a link up: Link Up Linky.  Do  click on the this link to see all the wonderful coffee share posts and perhaps join in too.

 

Fireworks!!! Nearly Missed Them!!

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Just a quick blog post to share this photo  of the Fireworks on Midsummer Common in Cambridge. We had it all planned, a quick meal, and then straight to the fireworks. What could possibly go wrong?  Everything! We had a long wait to be seated at our chosen restaurant, as it was ridiculously busy. Then when we finally managed to get our table, they lost our food order. Luckily they gave us 25% off the bill plus two free drinks. After all that I was getting quite tipsy, and needed to eat something. Luckily the food did come, and was very tasty. But, time was running out. I had to pop to the toilet and by the time I’d taken two phone calls, (whilst in there,) we nearly missed it all!!!

All was not lost I just managed to capture this beauty lighting up the skies between the houses.

Do you enjoy fireworks?  I love them. They always make me feel positive, as if they light up the sky with their little rays of hope. The only problem with fireworks and bonfire night is the wretched temperature. I can’t cope with being cold… I have to wrap up!

I have lots of plans for November, it’s my birthday later this month! So more about that nearer the time. I will be having a little birthday reveal on my Instagram – my little treat to myself! We all need to have something special to look forward to…

Before I go perhaps I should leave you with my Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/kyrosmagica/

Hope Monday is treating you well and not squashing the life out of you! Very amused to see that a bodybuilder/personal trainer is following me on twitter. Is he trying to tell me something? I know I need to get fit but… knowing me I’d get crushed by the weights or drop them on my foot or something.

 

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Rigby and Peller Fashion Show – Addenbrooke’s Breast Cancer Appeal

 

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I am so thrilled to be part of the team of lingerie stylists at Rigby and Peller, Cambridge. This is a totally new venture for me. I’ve never worked in lingerie before, in fact in my previous retail job in John Lewis I was ensconced in the menswear department, amongst woolly jumpers, socks, underwear, and other male paraphernalia.

Since joining the company I’ve been impressed by Rigby and Peller’s training programme and their positive attitude and intention to make women feel good about themselves.

So with that in mind I put together the above slide show and this little blog post to tell you all about a very extraordinarily inspiring evening.

The Addenbrooke’s Breast Cancer Appeal Fashion Show was held in the Grand Arcade in Cambridge on the 4th of October. Several retail companies joined in the event including Rigby and Peller. Today I heard the wonderful news that the goal to raise £10,000 for the Addenbrooke’s appeal towards the cost of biopsy equipment for the breast cancer unit has now been met, and is being surpassed!

My manager at Rigby and Peller, Jenny Mason – one of the organisers of the event – has had first hand experience of the devastating effect of cancer, having lost her father to this dreadful disease. Jenny and Natalie Emuss (one of the models,) have worked tirelessly to make the fashion show such an enormous, and memorable success.  Much respect to them both.

Here’s my daughter Georgina at the fashion show with her camera at the ready. A big thank you to Jenny Mason for allowing Georgina to take photographs of the event.  Georgina is currently studying for three diplomas in Photography, Media Studies and Business Studies.

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This was Georgina’s first opportunity to take part in a photographic shoot and what better event to begin with than one that was so charged with emotion. The awesome women modelling lingerie and fashion had us spellbound, as did their husbands and partners. I so admire their bravery and positivity.

Georgina chose four of her favourite images to share with you here: one black and white  and three in colour.

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What a great start to her photographic studies.

I will leave you with one of our shop windows at Rigby and Peller advocating :

Strength, Courage, Love.

I couldn’t agree more!

Don’t forget to pop into Rigby and Peller to donate your unwanted bras in store this October. Or do what you can to raise money and awareness for breast cancer sufferers.

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Links:

Saffron Walden Reporter Brave breast Cancer Models

Addenbrookes Breast Cancer Appeal Fashion Show Facebook Page

To donate:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Natalie-Emuss2

Bye for now,

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The Artful Author

-musings of a wild book dragon-

Read, Sav, Read.

| B.A. in English. | Writer. | Lover of books. | 2017 Book Count: 61. | Currently Reading: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon. |

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