Category Archives: Writing

A Fifties Child

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Born in the early 50’s, one of 3 and the oldest we had no Tv or phone we played out until dark and sometimes we were out all day playing in the woods, making camps…I was definitely not one of those girls who played with dolls and pushed someone else’s baby up and down the street..for fun! Really…I was  a tom boy…one of my earliest memories was this pink spotted dress my mum made me…she made all our clothes and I remember that when the elbows of our cardigans or jumpers wore thin my mum unpicked the sleeves and changed them over so the darned patch was in the crook of our elbow.

I also remember climbing the big old Oak tree in the middle of the green and catching the said pink dress and tore it! Girls then did not wear trousers only skirts and dresses.

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Going to visit nan

We made tents in the garden by slinging a blanket over the clothes line…..Played how high can you jump with a pole on two sticks…until my dad shouted at us as we made a bare patch on his lawn. I remember playing jacks and hopscotch on the pavement( we then) had to clean every bit of the chalk of the pavement when we had finished playing.

Collecting the empty bottles and taking them back to get a penny and how many sweets could you get for a penny?

I remember moaning like hell when my mum combed my hair after washing it and the rags she put in so we had ringlets( and how they hurt to sleep in). I also remember her taking us to the hairdressers as she was fed up with moans and me getting this fringe…..I promptly got the scissors out when I got home and cut it off..stating I don’t have a fringe now.

I also remember how much I used to write for homework..pages and pages..my teachers must have groaned..not half a page for me. When I got the ” A” my mum would say very nice dear…my dad..not much…he thought girls just got married and had kids.

Our first TV…..Took pride of place in the parlour ..the best room..the one we only used on high days and holidays or when people visited.

Most of my friends wanted to be teachers, hairdressers, nurse, shop assistants ..none wanted to be a pop star or celebrity.

But we were happy! Why?

Ask yourself?

So true to life…I got married, had the kids..blah blah blah

Then I retired..…went to Thailand….joined Phuket Writers and wow…….. An anthology, a novel in the pipeline, writing for a New York website, a collaboration with Sally from Smorgasbord Health 2017  so much to do and who knows how much time…I am having fun on this ride and do not want to get off…

And all because this child of the fifties had a dream.

So I believe if you dare to dream…then you can!

Thai boys in tree

I see that happiness in the faces of the village children here..who have very little…the boys ..a bike, they fish..a stick with a cord, they run, they climb trees, they laugh..why?

 I hope at least one of them has a dream!
Until next time stay safe, laugh a lot as you know it is good for you… and have fun x

If nothing ever changed there would be no butterflies

I have had fun looking at everyone’s New Year Resolutions, the wonderful recipes, Mango Curry by Freda@Aromatic Essence , scary stories which means I will never , ever look at a lippie in the same  way..Hugh @ hughsviewsandnews…Yearly stat’s to show our success,and who’s lost the e-mail and can’t find it???? lost in  the ethos…. wonderful photos of snow.. Thank you Ann ….which I love..but love being warm even more. I have written a few more, chapters to my novel ” A Fathers Nightmare.

I have sent a letter of complaint as the only chocolate gifts I purchased for my grandkids ..were melted…3 letters later….result! Ha ha ….What have I learnt over the years when complaining?……Be Nice..and keep being nice..you can’t ignore nice and nice gets you what you want!…No! Not more chocolate!

I have read those blogs which help meimages1EU08Q0G with WordPress, AND please how do I easily link to someones blog? It eludes me! It drives me crazy..It is probably soooooo easy..but for me…Nope! It is my nemesis…

Scrivener mmmm scrivener, word and so much more and thank you ,without those where would I be, I learn about the world ..the wonder of it in pictures, the  sadness and the downright cruelty.

The bush fires in Oz..those poor people who have lost everything… my daughter and son-law and the boys are 100km away from the worst and praying the wind doesn’t change in their direction and at the same praying for the ones who are not so lucky.

My Little Saang Chai has been unwell….he would outclass Houdini in how to escape….and if it’s edible..however dubious….he eats it or brings it home…..3 days of  sickness and not eating..poor boy..but he is back now in full fettle and back to chasing cyclists……so when he feels like blogging again ..will he be truthful..mmmm

Christmas decs are down….doesn’t it look bare?….windows cleaned….and I have a new printer ..my favorite colour..Lime Green ..how long will this one last ? me and printers do not have a good track record..we won’t even go there…

Oh and a word of warning about Pinterest..I recieved this..

We’re getting in touch to let you know we received a copyright complaint and have removed one (or more) of your Pins. The complaint wasn’t directed against you or your Pin; it was directed against another user’s Pin of the same content that was uploaded by a user. While many copyright owners are happy to have their content on Pinterest, we recognize that some do not want their content to appear on Pinterest, or did not receive attribution for the content. When a copyright owner sends us a complete notice per the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), it’s our policy to remove the Pin(s).

Again, this complaint was not directed at you, or anything you did: we just thought you’d like to know why we removed your Pin.

Happy Pinning and thanks again for using Pinterest.

I have read a couple of articles about copy right so be careful out there…

 

So what to blog about? do I carry  on rambling with the occasional recipe? pictures of where I live? and places I have been? my efforts at scribing? the occasional reblog?  So my resolution is to focus..on what I have yet to discover…. Will it be easy? Nope…Worth it? Absolutely.

 

That’s all for now, carry on doing what you do best..be happy..laugh a lot..Love you all…Big Hugs Carol 😉

 

Writing is the Painting of the voice!

Did you miss me this week? Wonder why I was so quiet?

Awww I hope so peeps….. No… ok then I won’t feel bad about it then …..I had…

A wonderful week spent writing, critiquing, writing, listening, talking…. Oh and drinking copious amounts of wine! No kids or men…..just like minded ladies who writeSAM_7207 and write we did under the guidance of Annie better known as Anne Louise O’Connell .An award-winning Canadian Author, Anne’s first novel, Mental Pause, a murder mystery/suspense with an unusual twist, won an Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) for best adult fiction. If you enjoy reading about international intrigue and cultural clashes, you’ll love Deep Deceit. If you like what you read, there’s more to come in Deep Freeze, the next installment in the Susan Morris Expat Mystery series.
My second Writers Retreat …once again… it didn’t disappoint. It was a time to renew acquaintances from last year and meet new ones.SAM_7229

Walks along the beach which culminated in sitting under  palms writing about being a beach bum……. Mine as usual had a little twist..ha ha

A boat trip SAM_7248to Koh Panyee a floating village built on bamboo stilts rising out of the sea ..Passing  sheer, limestone karts.. so dramatic….. rising vertically out of the emerald green water….we wrote about the sounds, smells, sights our choices of themes…..Who is that colouful character? What an unusual smell…That was music to my ears or I’ve never tasted anything like it…which one spoke to my inner writer?…… a stroll through those tiny walkways of uneven boards…… with stalls showcasing beautiful pearls, wood carvings , brightly coloured sarongs and so much more…along side all this.. day to day life meandered slowly… .inspired ..oh yes…..and we wrote….

Eyes closed and finger poised where on the map would I land? a slip of paper pulled from an envelope…. what would I be? What  other word would I pick ? My country Uruguay, my profession a ” Retired Prostitute” and gracious to boot…ha ha.. so armed with my 2 words and a country I wrote.

I hope this gives you some idea of the many themes, words or pictures which were our prompts….which made you think and made you write…I was amazed at the stories which came out from us..all different ..all amazing tales….we had so much fun, we worked and played hard.

If you like to join me next year , it would be lovely for me to actually meet some of my blogging friends..check out Annie’s website http://www.globalwritingsolutions.com/Writers_retreat.html ..I would so love to meet some of you… it is hard work but fun and we had participants from Dubai, New York, Calgary all with lots of tales to tell.

 

So until next all you lovely bloggers and I may ..Just may ….tell you a story about the elusive ” Pink Ape”   Love you all  until next time   Carol ( Caz)  xxx

 

 

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery.

Allelujah yesterday is now history…..too much vino methinks…no I don’t think….I know! Oops!

Well what a mixed week, meeting with friends, some happy news and some so very sad and it makes you realize how mortal we all are and lucky to find out if tomorrow really is a mystery….

It’s a lovely sunny morning here and after all the Rain, Thunder, Lightening and the power cuts. This weather sure does play havoc with ones Skype and the Internet.

Not to mention that the ants who much prefer coming inside to braving the elements and we have had those in gigantic proportions even coming up the loo and a scorpion also thought it would venture inside mmmm….but it’s one of the joys of living in paradise.

But the upside is the Coconut Palm is heaving so lots of fresh coconut juice to drink and the grass is growing at the speed of light and the flowers are blooming.

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The kitchen has also been a hive of activity this week we have been making ice cream ..a raspberry, banana, and coconut milk one. Bread and Butter Pudding, Meat Pies and a Fish Pie. Everyone loved the fish pie except for one and you always get one don’t you who said my idea of a fish pie is one which has mussels, squid, fish, prawns etc..unlucky we had a bog standard Fish Pie but this said person finished up the leftovers the next day still saying mmmm but would have been nicer with……… He is still breathing…..ha ha

Fish Pie.

Ingredients:

For the mashed potato topping.
  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons butter, zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste.Fish Pie
For the fish pie filling.
  • 500ml (2 cups) milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200g frozen hake fillets.
  • 200g frozen smoked haddock fillets.
  • 300g fresh uncooked prawns ( peeled)
  • 2 onions sm or one large, finely chopped.
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped.
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped.
  • 3 tablespoons flour.
  • 1 heaped teaspoon English mustard.
  • 40g (1/2 cup) mature cheddar, grated.
  • Juice of half lemon.
  • Salt & pepper to taste.

 

  • Place potatoes in a large pot of boiling water or in a steamer and cook until soft.
  • Mash the potatoes then mix in, butter and lemon zest. Season to taste.Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
  • To make the fish pie, poach the fish ( not the prawns) in the milk with the bay leaf. When the fish is cooked, remove the fish and flake into large chunks. Reserve the milk.
  • In a large, oven-proof frying pan fry the onion and carrot in a splash of olive oil until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic and fry for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the flour and stir then add the milk the fish was poached to create a creamy sauce.
  • Add the English mustard and fish including prawns and stir well then add the cheese and lemon juice and stir.
  • Season to taste.
  • Top the fish filling with the mashed potato and create indents with a spoon which will become nice and crispy in the oven.
  • Place the pie in the oven and allow to bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes then serve.
  • Note: I don’t cook prawns with fish but add prawns right at the end when adding cooked fish to sauce this way the prawns will be lovely and succulent.
 And enjoy! Until next time have fun love u all xxx

 

 

 

 

I’d like my crayons back, please.

Love It! It is true to say we are given a pack of crayons when we are very young and then they are taken away to be replaced by the mundane things deemed necessary for our learning and advancement through that which is life!

 However, we all need to be able to soar and fly and reach new heights so yes ” I would like my crayons back,please.”

And learning I am, learning new skills almost every day wether it be how to make ” Sour Dough” or how to ” Track changes on Word” or just “How to.”

Marvelling sometimes at how much this old brain of mine can absorb.

My bestest friend is ” Mr Google ” because if he doesn’t know then it doesn’t exist…well in my world. I’m sure someone, somewhere would disagree with that..but who cares? not me!

And yes that element of being afraid of what people think  seems to have abandoned me and I think  for the best because it brings with it that sense that I can do almost anything if I put my mind to it.

Sky diving NOT being one of my ” I wish I could ” Ha ha….

Today is short story day, very short but a story penned by me as I am finding a penchant for short stories now and again so here goes…… This one is about circumstances and peer pressure.

Kevin.

 

“Why can’t you be like your sister? Look at her school report. Its brilliant. Don’t just stand there like a dummy!  Answer me.”

Kevin had no answer  he  just hung his head wishing the ground would swallow him up.

” Stupid bitch I hate you” he muttered.

“Go to your room and stay there. We are taking Sally shopping.”

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, Kevin just switched off.  I hate you all he thought. Talk about Miss Goody two shoes what does she ever do wrong? They don’t like my friends, how I dress….nothing!

Kevin’s phone rang.

“Hey Kev,  what’s up?  Wanna come over?”

“Can’t, me old lady she’s grounded me again”

“Oh come on Kev, climb down the drain pipe your old dear will never know.”

Kev thought for a nano second, and then going to the window he shinned down the drain pipe to the ground. Rounding the corner at the end of the street Kevin saw his friends Tom and Stevie coming towards him.

“What’s up Kev?”

“My old man and lady going off on one again. Goody two shoes got another good school report.”

Tom nudged Stevie.

“Come on then Kev lets show them. I know an old dear who doesn’t  lock her door.”

Kevin followed them.

Don’t normally write about peer pressure but been a lot in the news lately.

Love you all.. more recipes in my next blog, the Beef Rendang was amazing and Gin & Tonic Cake  is my next to do  cook, doing boring things at the moment like cooking more beetroot to pickle..they keep eating it.

 

Until next time bye for now xxxx

 

If Your Dreams Don’t Scare You, They Aren’t Big Enough!

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So be scared, be very afraid and the sky will be the limit, ask any successful person who has and they will agree…Dare to dream…..

I am and it took me long enough..ha ha…but now I am and now I will… so watch this space……. and carry on dreaming…I DARE YOU!

What is scaring me? at the moment Scrivener….but armed with a webinar, u-tube etc I will master it! Yes, I will, of course, I will, a piece of cake, I will!

Anyway…FOOD….it was my eldest daughters birthday last week and as we were chatting she told me she had a great birthday brekkie and had Banana bread with Passionfruit Butter.

Well after said conversation finished I turned to my best friend ” Mr Google” and lo and behold it looked easy and sounded yummy.

So into the kitchen I went…. after I sourced the Passionfruit pulp, bought a lovely big bag, ready pulped, no additives or mess and that’s what I like, frozen and ready to go and will last for a few Pavlov’s and more Passionfruit butter and maybe a fruit shake or two..a bargain! and who doesn’t love one of them?

Banana Bread.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 ripe bananas.
  • 1/3 Cup melted butter.
  • 1 cup sugar ( I only used slightly less than 1/2 cup) don’t like it too sweet.
  • 1 egg beaten.
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence.
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda.
  • 11/2 Cups Flour.
  • Handful walnuts chopped( optional)

Oven 350/175 degrees.

4 x 8-inch loaf tin.

Let’s Cook!

Mash Banana, Stir in butter.Mix in Baking Soda and salt.Stir in sugar, egg and vanilla.Mix in flour.

This is the easiest recipe on record…

Bake for 1hr- 1hr 10 mins.

Cool completely before removing from tin.

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Passionfruit Butter/ Curd:

Ingredients:

  • The pulp of 5 large passion fruits. ( I used my frozen pulp) thawed of course and half cup.
  • 150g butter.
  • 100g  sugar.
  • Juice of half a lemon.
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • 5 eggs beaten.

Let’s Cook!

Melt butter and sugar in a heavy bottomed (or enamel) saucepan over low heat. Add lemon juice, salt and passion fruit pulp. Mix well. In a bowl, whisk all 5 eggs lightly. Increase heat to medium-low and add the eggs to the passionfruit mixture, whisking with a whisk. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes, whisking continuously. Once smooth, stir with a wooden spoon while cooking. The butter is ready when the mixture becomes thick and coats the back of the spoon (pouring cream consistency/store-bought pouring custard consistency). Remove from heat. Fill in lidded jars and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Note:

Because egg sizes may differ, if you find the mixture is too runny (slides off your spoon very easily), whisk in another egg and also add a tablespoon of butter. This helps thicken the butter to lemon curd consistency.

My guinea pigs were at our lunch before Majong where we all take a dish and it received an overall thumbs up, in other words, it was yummy. So enjoy.

Until next time. Love you all xx