#WeekendCoffeeShare

#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.

 

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#Weekend CoffeeShare: Sailing

 

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Hi Campers… oh no wrong club, sailors…

A Very Warm Welcome to Weekend Coffee Share which is hosted by Diana at Part-time Monster.  To join in this fun sharing idea do pop over to Diana’s blog: Part Time Monster Weekend Coffee Share

If we were having coffee –

I’d say that I’m recovering from a sailing adventure!  And since I arrived back home I’ve been craving sugar and drinking frothy caramel lattes. Would you like to join me for one? I promise it will be calorific heaven, I might even serve it in a little coffee cup dinghy!

Last weekend we were away on a friend’s sailing boat. So I thought I’d invite you to come along with me to see some of the lovely places we went to. The photo featured at the top was taken at Yarmouth, Isle of Wight.

We began our yachting adventure in Southampton. With lots of goodies stowed aboard for our journey: food, wine, and an abundance of savoury and sweet treats we set off. It was quite a feat that Fat Bottomed Girl even got going! Who’s that you might ask? Stop being so cheeky. I know what you’re thinking… but… it’s the name of the well stocked sailing boat. Of course!

Our captain had everything covered, even providing yours truly and my daughter with sailing jackets, and of course obligatory life vests for everyone..

Here’s Captain Jon, our sailing aficionado.. (He’s been sailing since he was twelve…) with my hubby David on the right, sharing a Father’s Day bromance moment! Ahhh..

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C’est Moi, smiling widely… in my red sailing gear, you can’t see my hands but I’m sure I must be praying for good weather! WP_20160618_025

We’re all trying to keep the optimism up, by wearing our shades… all except me, with my compulsory glasses wearing. I have to see where I’m going. We don’t want any man or woman overboard issues. I say this because my husband has fallen off a boat a few times.. twice in the Mediterranean, and once in the UK, so it’s now best to keep an eye on him, and generally good advice to keep him away from the vino. Oh no, no chance! Only kidding, he fell off  last time while cleaning the boat on a boy’s trip (well that’s what he told me.) He hit his head and nearly drowned. Luckily one of his friends realised he’d vanished, and scooped him out of the water just in time. Quite a feat as he is over six feet tall.

So, on this trip we were hoping not to have to use this Man Overboard Rescue Sling. We did hear a few emergencies coming over the radio… but luckily the coastguard dealt with them pretty super pronto.

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My friend Diane is striking a laid back kind of pose. You can tell she’s used to this sailing lark! She isn’t about to do any life saving just yet, especially if it involves pulling a six foot man out of the sea. WP_20160618_023

Oh, mustn’t forget the two youngest members of the crew, my daughter Gina, and her friend Sophie. Somehow wearing the sailing attire seems to make them look a lot younger than they are… Sweet. Oh Dear she’s going to kill me for that remark..WP_20160618_031

Generally it was pretty much plain sailing. But there were a few we better pay attention to where we’re going moments, when all these yachts kept chasing us. Steady on!WP_20160619_008

Gina had a chance to take the helm. Here’s a sweet photo of the two of them… one to keep… as it was Father’s Day. Ahh…WP_20160619_001

We stopped for a bite to eat at a lovely bay at National Trust Nature Reserve – Newtown. As you can see it was a bit overcast, but nevertheless you do get a sense of the tranquility and unspoiled nature of the place. WP_20160618_033

For our last evening we splashed out and had a tasty meal at a very lovely restaurant in Yarmouth, called The George, which had this amazing restaurant with beautiful sea-views. As you can see the sky was now a hazy blue colour after being a bit grey!WP_20160618_052We also stopped for an ice cream at The Gossips cafe at Yarmouth, but whatever you do, do remember to keep that to yourself, as we don’t want that kind of information getting around..WP_20160618_049 (1)

We had a wonderful weekend.. though I have to say I still feel as if I’m in sleepy mode.  It must be that continual rocking motion. We had a long drive back home and stopped for fish and chips on the way back. Yum. All that sea air really makes you hungry!

Hope you had a great week. What have you been up to? Been sailing recently?

Hope you enjoyed my  Weekend Coffee Share post.

Cheers. What can I get you to drink?

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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#WeekendCoffee Share: Ely Eel Festival

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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:

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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.

More about Helen here: Children’s Author: Helen Moss

This experience has made me consider joining The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, here’s the link to find out more: SCBWI.

More about Diana’s #WeekendCoffeeshare:

Part Time Monster Weekend Coffee Share

#WeekendCoffeeShare Link Up Post

Do you like to eat Eel, belly dance or have any unusual hobbies? Are you a SCBWI member?

Don’t forget to comment, and do have a lovely bank holiday weekend.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

#WeekendCoffeeShare: My Two Year Anniversary

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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!!!!

Drum roll….

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!

Ha ha!!!!

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?

  1. I’ve been editing furiously and now my manuscript is a staggering 84,344 words.
  2. After much deliberation I’ve chosen a title for my book – The Curse of Time.
  3. I’m currently considering some ideas for a book cover.
  4. I’ve written something in the region of 80+ Book reviews!!
  5. I’ve developed an interest in Photography.
  6. I love writing haiku, and dabble in a bit of short story writing too!
  7. I’ve started writing book reviews for self-published authors…

My highlights:

  1. 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
  2. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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…
  3. Writing a post about My Daughter’s Prom. I will be doing a Fashion Feature about this in July. Can’t wait!
  4. Skydiving, White Water Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Paragliding, all lies, all lies…
  5. 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!
  6. 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!

Hope you enjoyed my Weekend Coffee share post.

Do pop over to Diana’s blog – Part Time Monster to link up: Weekend Coffee Share

Bye for now, see you soon.

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

 

 

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Cambridge Literary Festival

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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!

http://flavorpill.com/ntl/article/other/5-cocktails-for-hardworking-bookish-babes.

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/

Enjoy.

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!

More about them here: http://www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/product/hallelujah-for-50ft-women-186

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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.)

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Andrew Hosken wrote Empire of Fear: Inside The Isalmic State. The event was chaired by Helen Lewis, Editor of the New Statesman.

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After that at 4pm I had the opportunity to steward in the Tracy Chevalier, Helen Dunmore & Linda Grant event: Reader, I Married Him.

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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!

There’s me second on the right of the photo!

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.

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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:

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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:

http://www.romanmysteries.com/

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:

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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:

http://www.mmvaughan.com/

and a photo of her at the Festival that I pinched from her twitter account!

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:

All about Weekend Coffee Share :http://parttimemonster.com/weekend-coffee-share/

Link up to the Weekend Coffee share blog by clicking on Diane’s blog, Part Time-Monster, there’s a blue link: https://parttimemonster.com/category/weekly-features/weekend-coffee-share/

Have you ever stewarded before? At a Literary Festival or perhaps another event? Do share your experiences I would love to hear all about them.

 

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

In case you’re curious to find out more, do visit my links:

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/story/67166165-the-curse-of-time

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20419289-marje-mallon

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kyrosmagica/

Tumblr: http://kyrosmagica.tumblr.com/

 

 

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Brighton Celebration

 

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If we were having coffee I’d say it’s lovely to see you again. Would you like a coffee, or a cup of tea? We’d both decide on a tall glass of latte, a milky froth of gorgeousness. I’d invite you into my sunken lounge and I’d play a little ditty on the piano for you. It would be just a few notes as I’m no maestro! We’d laugh and then I’d tell you all about my week. I’ve had so much excitement this Easter break that perhaps I need some herbal tea to calm me down rather than a cup of hot frothy coffee!

This will be a long chit chat so get comfy. If you’re a beach, culture, shopping vulture and a book fan I’ll sure you’ll enjoy it, so settle down on the settee next to me and let me tell you all about it.

It was my mum’s birthday on the 2nd of April. We were invited to her birthday get together in Brighton! What fun, I just love spending time with family and visiting Brighton. We had our very own tour guide – my eldest daughter is a student at Sussex University in Brighton.

There were many highlights of our stay and being a keen writer I’ll hope you forgive me if I use a few titles to create a bookish atmosphere.

The beach, the seafront, and the pier. When I arrived with my two daughters the sun shone, (so knowing how changeable UK weather can be,) we took no chances and headed straight for the beach. There was no hint of the later evening rain that would arrive. We braved the seagulls and had our lunch on the seafront. Chips with everything! Our lunch was simple, just hamburgers and hot dogs and chips but it tasted wonderful -perhaps it was the sea air. We sat by the children’s mini fairground which was a bit of a mistake… it was a tad noisy!!

I took some photos of the pier and the seafront on our last day – but it wasn’t so sunny, and it was really quiet!

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The Royal Pavilion. This was breathtakingly beautiful inside and out. So if you are ever in Brighton make sure you actually go inside – it’s well worth the admission fee. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. The decor inside is sumptuous, full of chandeliers, dragons, a grand piano,  a drummer boy clock,  the Rock Clock, and Chinese Court official figures made out of unfired clay. There are many magnificent rooms to see: a Long Gallery,  the Banqueting room, and Banqueting room Gallery, the Great Kitchen, a Saloon, a Music room,  The King’s and Queen’s apartments …..  We hired an audio guide device so that we could find out all about King George IV – he was quite the lad – he had lots of mistresses and kept this palace as his pleasure pad when he was young.

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After all that sumptuousness we took a detour to go shopping making our way through the lanes.

The Lanes. Cute little shopping alleys. These are well worth wandering down and discovering what they have to offer. In general, Brighton is a pretty good bet for shopping, whether it’s the usual chain shops you’re after or something a bit different.

People Watching. I’m a terrible Nosy Parker -it’s a requirement if you write! Opposite our hotel window I spied a covered seated area. I spent some time peering out of the window wondering about the people who sat there. It wasn’t a bus stop, yet people sat and did the most extraordinary things, thinking that they were unobserved! HA HA!! One young lad spent all his time picking his nails, biting them and fidgeting – perhaps he had just fallen out with his girlfriend? Or maybe he was on his way to a job interview –  who knows…. I have to say when he left and a paper bag took his place I was a bit disappointed! Still there was the wide expanse of beach to observe – a man walking backwards and forwards with a metal detector caught my attention. I saw him two days in a row, one day on his own and the second day with a reluctant younger person, (perhaps his grandson,) who was carrying a spade. I wonder if he found anything?

The Crack in the Ceiling. Oh, before I forget to mention this! Let me tell you about our room. It had a fantastic view of the seafront but it had this sinister crack in the ceiling.

Well that crack came to haunt us.

It all began when I stepped into the shower. Suddenly I heard my daughter shouting for me. I wondered why she was bothering me while I was in the shower. Couldn’t she wait until I’d finished? No. She couldn’t. And with good reason as it turned out! It was an emergency!

Water was flowing out of said crack onto our hotel room floor!

It took her a few attempts to make me hear her. Realising that this was an emergency I quickly grabbed a towel, and dressed. She phoned for help. To their credit a member of the hotel staff came very quickly,  while my hair was still dripping, (it kind of reminded me of a Carry On film, with me just out of the shower,) and offered to upgrade us to a better room. Which we did! Luckily the new room had no cracks, and there were no more incidents. Though the lock on the door didn’t work, but this is no impediment to ghosts! The Old Ship hotel is a very old hotel………apparently the violinist Paginini stayed at the hotel in 1831. His playing was so mesmerising that it was rumoured that he sold his soul to the devil! Later I discovered random items of our clothing that hadn’t been anywhere near the dripping ceiling had managed to get wet. Somebody was playing a devilish game! Namely, my daughter’s coat, and my bra. Both were very wet. How strange.

I was beginning to think The Old Ship Hotel was haunted and its resident ghost was playing a trick on us!

The Rant. We hired a taxi to take us to a Korean restaurant as my dad isn’t quite as fast on his pins as he used to be. On the way there a four seater cab arrived instead of a five seater. I managed to squeeze in the back.

Luckily the journey was short, but when I opened the door I fell out!

No harm done. But the rant really started on the way back. We hired a taxi to take us back to the hotel. This large vehicle appeared with ample seating area but …… there was a high step up to the cab. When we arrived at the hotel the driver didn’t help my dad out or open the door for him – I thought this wasn’t very kind – he is a very sweet silver haired fellow, aged eighty seven. So I asked my daughter to do so. The taxi driver spent all his time on his mobile phone, (I hope it was hands free.) In fact I couldn’t see what he looked like, and then he charged us double the cost and didn’t help. UGH…. Why are some taxi drivers so unfriendly and unhelpful? Sorry rant over…  Then on the way back we got another taxi back home as my hubby was away and couldn’t pick us up. This guy seemed polite and helpful but pretty silent. No conversation. I noticed his badge looked odd. His face had been erased from the photo. Faded by the sun perhaps? Or was he an axe murderer? I’ve been reading too much Stephen King recently… I really must give horror a break. Back to YA for a while… yes and no. More about books later …..

The Last Day. We went down to the pier on the last day. Here are some more of my photos,  including family ones, and an embarrassing one of me in a woolly hat with a pom pom on top! Keep on scrolling down if you want a laugh!

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The Final Story – alias what am I reading?

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Ravens Gathering. At the moment I’m reading Ravens Gathering, a thriller from our very own Graeme Cumming at  http://graemecumming.net/

and :-

The Yearbook Committee. A YA novel by Sarah Ayoub which I won via Jade @ Scatterbooker:  https://scatterbooker.wordpress.com/. It arrived on the morning of my departure to Brighton, (all the way from Australia,) so I took it with me to the seaside! It is a very chatty book, so if you like a lot of dialogue this book’s for you!

I took a photo of it in my hotel room for  my Instagram account with a cute folded towel and toiletries:

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Two very different books, but I’m enjoying them both – more about these two to come.

Now here’s my Instagram photo of Full Dark No Stars:

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Full Dark No Stars. I’ve just finished Stephen King’s short story compilation, and that Swiss Dark Chocolate Mountain bar didn’t last long!  Full Dark No Stars was awesome but could seriously give you nightmares. The chocolate was delicious!

Oh by the way the lovely Jade@ Scatterbooker is doing a university Instagram project:

Bookstagram Wiz :’Bookstagram Wiz and our aim is to set up a community for #bookstagrammers on Instagram, Tumblr,Twitter.’

So do support Jade in her project. She’s an Australian gem, here’s a link to her blog to find out more: https://scatterbooker.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/bookstagram-i-need-your-help/

Anyway my youngest daughter and I are now back home safe and sound. My eldest is back at University. By the time we arrived home it was time for dinner but I didn’t feel like eating and neither did my daughter. We had eaten so much while we were away in Brighton that I couldn’t stomach another drop. Well I lie I had a cracker and cheese and that was pretty much that.

So that’s about it apart from whisking my daughter off to Ely to get her prom dress fitted. It’s a bit overly long. Like me she’s petite. It looked really pretty when the seamstress had pinned it up. I shall be doing a Prom Fashion feature about that in July so keep an eye out for that.

Hope you enjoyed my Weekend Coffee Share post, sorry for hogging the conversation. I’m back to work next week, so no more excitement for a while….  sigh… Oh I lie…. one more exciting event to come. This weekend I’m helping out at the Literary Festival in Cambridge so more about that in my next Weekend Coffee Share post.

What about you – have you had an exciting time recently? Have you read any good books?Visited anywhere interesting?

 

Weekend Coffee share is a coffee link up and chat post via Diana at Part-Time monster. Here are her links to find out more:

All about Weekend Coffee Share :http://parttimemonster.com/weekend-coffee-share/

Link up to the Weekend Coffee share blog by clicking on Diane’s blog, Part Time-Monster, there’s a blue link: https://parttimemonster.com/category/weekly-features/weekend-coffee-share/

Bye for now.

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Marje@Kyrosmagica xx

Weekend Coffee Share: NCS YES LIVE and London Delights

 

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Hi,

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:

http://parttimemonster.com/2016/03/31/if-we-were-having-coffee-4/

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.

Do feel free to comment, and give feedback/constructive criticism – Wattpad link:  https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/67166165-the-curse-of-time

I’ve had such an amazing response to my share my post request:  https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/help-please-sharewattpad-the-curse-of-time-prologue/

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?

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When you get a bit hungry, and thirsty but money is a bit tight where better than Wetherspoons for a drink and a meal?

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This beauty caught my eye, obscuring just about everything else!
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A lovely view greeted us.:
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So eye catching:
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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….
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Travel in style in Covent Garden, perhaps a horse and cart?
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This is when things got a bit silvery…. watch in awe…
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Silver man’s tipping his cap.

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And….

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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!”

The show was headliner-ed by Tinie Tempah, with youtubers Ali-A, Emma Blackery, Emma Canham, and Jake Boys : http://yeslive.ncsyes.co.uk/youtubers/

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:

http://parttimemonster.com/2016/03/26/weekendcoffeeshare-32616/

Do feel free to comment. Have you been to Camden? Or Covent Garden? Do you often visit London? What is your favourite coffee, tea, beverage, or coffee shop?

Bye for now.

You know when the barista asks you if you want a small, medium or large tea or coffee… I think I need a large one today! I’ve forgotten to have breakfast again!

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

#WeekendCoffeeShare

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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:

http://parttimemonster.com/2016/03/19/weekendcoffeeshare-31916/

Bye for now, time to chill, it’s Sunday after all. Have a lovely restful day.

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

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