Friday, 3 April 2020

Lockdown 2

Hello Everyone,

Well, this really is a global mess, isn't it? Most of the world is in lockdown but we have to believe that we will get through this. We need to be positive, stay happy and focused. In my humble attempt at cheering peeps up my little booklet "Life is..." is on free download from tomorrow,  April 4th until 8th at Amazon. Just click onto your local Amazon marketplace and put "Life is..." and Marilyn L Rice in your browser and it should come up with instructions to download to your appliance... tablet, phone, PC, laptop. The blurb...

I, like most people on the planet, have become a great fan of social media and in particular, Facebook. During the last six months I have been posting daily. Firstly, it was 'Words of Wisdom' and then I moved on to 'Life is…' Some of my thoughts were philosophical, others humorous. Sometimes I added photographs and emojis or I dedicated certain sayings to individual people. On a couple of occasions I even added a short story telling the inspiration behind the quotation, for example…'Life is about turning left instead of right and having an adventure!'
I noticed that I was getting a lot of those 'like' clicks and friends seemed to be enjoying my humble daily offering. I had an idea… put all of my posts into a short book and publish them. I have placed one of the 'Words of Wisdom' each page and the' Life is…' quotations follow with some illustrations, either photographs from my albums or downloads from the Net under creative commons licence. All the acknowledgements may be found at the end of the booklet after information on my books.
I hope that those of you who download this will delve into it on the dark days and find that it puts the smile back on your face.
How would I describe it? Humorous, philosophical, satirical, stimulating, inspirational, illuminating, intriguing, thought-provoking, fresh, invigorating and delightful.
Enjoy!

And a comment/review

Quirky and sweet I'll be dipping into this book every morning to get my 'life is' fix. Well done to the author for condensing a chaotic time in the world and giving us hope.

So, feel free to download and hopefully it will put a smile on your face in these dark times.


I'm also  sharing my lockdown ramblings and experiences with you. All of them are on FB but I will just share a couple of them with you, today.
Day 5,

Well hello
Yes, I’m still here although I confess to being a little down yesterday and decided to take a nap in the afternoon. Went back to bed and said goodbye to the cruel world. The sheer numbers are now horrifying, and yesterday it was announced that Boris and other ministers have tested positive. So, a sick man is now running our country. Depressing.

Further, yesterday I heard that Birmingham airport is preparing to be a temporary morgue. Now, I like that airport. I have been through it many times to foreign shores but I am thinking will my next trip be to that morgue? Scary. As a person living alone I’m not in confinement with a family who could be driving me to insanity but if I succumb how will I survive alone? And worst scenario… I could be here for weeks and eventually just my bones found. The rest of me decomposed. So, I’m leaving my Will on the desk, easy to be found. One has to think about these things.

On a brighter note last night I retrieved the Scrabble set and played a solo game. I have decided to have a solo competition by playing many games through this crisis and each time trying to beat my score. Last night it was 500+ and I managed to get 50 points for putting down all seven tiles on one word. Just an idea for both families and singletons. Board games can make a comeback.

Also, last night I ticked three things off my list. So I retired feeling pleased.

Right now, I’m on my second cuppa and it’s 1.28. Yes, really late even for me. However, I have been out this morning. I followed Government guidelines, I was doing my once a week trip for essentials. We all know my essentials are choc, wine, bubble bath and candles and I needed to replace the Easter egg I devoured on Thursday. First, I needed to prepare for the event. That meant gloves, scarf and First Defence. Now, that First Defence is designed to block the nasal cavities from colds and flu. Does it work against Coronavirus? No idea but what have I got to lose?

Anyway, hit the road Jack time. I passed the Aldi store with a overflowing car park. Forget it. Drove on to M & S and Boots at a local retail park. No queue. Fully stocked shelves. Polite, smiling staff. More peeps than usual but still fine. Boots was an interesting experience. A smiling manager greeted me at the door asking why I was visiting. I said for bubble bath, we have to have luxuries in these uncertain times. She directed me to the correct aisle. I observed that half the store was cordoned off in accordance with the law. Cosmetics etc are not essential and could not be purchased. At the checkout there were crosses on the floor, they looked about a metre apart, where you stood waiting your turn. However, there was only one person in front of me. So, no problem. The whole adventure lasted for less than an hour and it was easy. Forget large supermarkets with queues and empty shelves.


I’m back again and it’s 6.21. I’ve made my afternoon phone call to a pleased victim and had a long chat. I’ve spent time watching television and playing on the computer. It is still light and normally I would be celebrating tonight because the clocks go forward on to BST, and I’d  be looking forward to Antonio and ice cream. Dream on! Although, I do feel better than yesterday because I have been out of the house and had a short drive. A change of scenery. Depressing scenery but still a change. Weird for a Saturday. I understand why we are allowed out for daily exercise. I may even do that next week and take a short stroll.


However, with my usual positivity I am thinking of the advantages to this situation. We are under lockdown rules so no one is visiting. There is no need to wash or dress. Stay in bed all day? Or dress but just wear the same scruffy clothes every day. Who cares? No need to clean up or wash up. No need to wear makeup. Hmmm.

Watching the news. We are looking at a deserted Brighton in contrast to crowded beach last week. It seems that peeps have heeded the warning albeit late in the day. I have checked locally and there were no new cases in the last 24 hours but as a nation have passed the first thousand mark for fatalities and we have over 17,000 cases. We are also 8th globally. The thought that we could make it to the top is frightening. The USA hold that post with over100,000 cases. Italy has had over 10,000 deaths. It seems that there is no correlation between the countries in relation to fatalities. Germany has over 56,000 cases but only 403 deaths. We have more than twice that number but only 17,000 cases. That should confuse analysts. I also find it interesting that when one person tests positive and self isolate with the family. The family do not automatically catch it. It’s not like Chicken pox or Measles. Is it that some peeps or cultures are more immune than others?

Day 6,


Good morning BST. It is 11.15 Sunday 29th March. I’ve finished my first cuppa while watching the morning service on the goggle box. It was refreshing. It feels like things are going full circle. Years ago Sunday belonged to God in our Christian society. Other religions do have different days, I know that! For the last couple of decades, since shops opened on Sundays, this tradition of worship has paled into insignificance, ignored by many. Now, church buildings, like other public places, are closed but the service is back on television screens. Maybe, when this is over Sunday will be a proper Sunday again. In the new world established as a result of the crisis there will be a new respect, new kindness, more consideration for others. Lessons will have been learned. Well, we can only hope.

What am I going to do today?

Just checked the data. Locally, numbers have almost doubled. 116. Alarming. The USA is way above other countries at the top of the list, 123,000+ with 2,000+ deaths. This is an interesting comparison with Italy at 92,000+ cases yet 10,000+ deaths. My sympathy to all those grieving families. I’m moving well down the list to Cyprus where I have many friends and hope they all stay safe. Thinking about you all. Only 179 cases and 5 deaths so far.

Today, might do a little washing up. Am running out of plates. A few good programmes to watch. Will phone a neighbour.

It’s 3.40 and I’m back on the sofa. I’ve washed a few pots so have some clean plates. Played on the computer. The weather is chillier so the heating is on and I am not venturing out. I have made my daily phone call to my unsuspecting neighbour. We have arranged to meet. Yes, we will defy the law and meet face to face for a short chit chat tomorrow at 6.00 pm. We will not have miserable faces. We will be cheerful, smiling and socialise. We  have agreed to put our bins out at the same time. Her front door and my back gate are about 5 metres apart so we can have a ‘distant’ short chat and wave. Now there’s a thought. Peeps, you can only chat with a neighbour when you put the bins out. What has society come to?

Considering that Birmingham Airport is preparing to become a morgue I have just checked to see if it’s open for it’s primary purpose or closed. Yes, it’s open for business. A plane landed from Dublin at 2.20. Well, I’m assuming it was one plane but the board stated five different arrivals at the same time from Dublin. I cannot imagine five full planes landing  simultaneously from one place. I’m wondering how many people were actually on board and were they sitting apart? The next plane arrives from Aberdeen and expected at 5.15. Imagine arriving and seeing preparation of a mortuary? There are only four departures today. Well, there won’t be a queue will there?

I’m reminded of the time in the sixties when Castle Donnington, near Nottingham became an airport. My grandparents lived in nearby Kegworth, a village surrounded by green fields then. I remember walking round the area when I was about six or seven and being told that what looked like a long road in the middle of a field was a runway and used in the war. I climbed on to the gate and looked at the forsaken runway with blades of grass sprouting up. I imagined planes soaring up into the sky. It had not been used since the war. Yes, the present East Midlands airport was once a massive field and used for flights during the war. Such excitement when it was transformed into an airport. I was eager to go and see a plane land. My father took me up and I waited with anticipation for three hours to see that magnificent bird fly down from the sky. It looks like things have gone full circle. If I were not in lockdown and able to visit Birmingham Airport I’d have to wait three hours to see a plane land.

I’m now watching the latest update. We’re being told that many peeps have tested negative. Now, my mind is working overtime. Does this mean that they are immune? Can they still get symptoms? If so, can they take another test or are you only allowed one?

Just found all details like Will, solicitor, house deeds receipt and placed the brown envelope clearly marked prominently on the library shelf. I was a Brownie and a Girl Guide. Girls could not be Cubs or Scouts in those days. The motto was to be prepared. I am prepared. Shall not play Scrabble today. Beginning notes on next book, EVIL PERSONIFIED IS THE DEVIL’S DISCIPLE. May be published posthumously.

It’s early evening now. Time for vino and food. Will keep an eye on the appalling figures. Latest prediction for those of us who survive this is a possible six months before we see restrictions are over. I guess it’s goodbye to those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. No Antonio!

Try to stay positive, Love you all, Lady M xxxxx

Friday, 27 March 2020

LOCKDOWN 1

Hello Everyone,

Well, these are unprecedented and dire times which we are living through. I am a writer! So, when we heard the PM's announcement on Monday evening what did I decide to do? Write a daily log of thoughts, ideas, plans and my daily life. After the elderly and vulnerable were advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks I made a list of things to do. Keeping occupied and positive will help our sanity through trying times. I decided to change my planned blogs and do special ones on Lockdown sharing my days and thoughts hoping they will put a smile on your face. 

On April 4th for 5 days my booklet, LIFE IS...  will be on free download from Kindle. Just a little something to cheer peeps up.

I, like most people on the planet, have become a great fan of social media and in particular, Facebook. During the last six months I have been posting daily. Firstly, it was 'Words of Wisdom' and then I moved on to 'Life is…' Some of my thoughts were philosophical, others humorous. Sometimes I added photographs and emojis or I dedicated certain sayings to individual people. On a couple of occasions I even added a short story telling the inspiration behind the quotation, for example…'Life is about turning left instead of right and having an adventure!'
I noticed that I was getting a lot of those 'like' clicks and friends seemed to be enjoying my humble daily offering. I had an idea… put all of my posts into a short book and publish them. I have placed one of the 'Words of Wisdom' each page and the' Life is…' quotations follow with some illustrations, either photographs from my albums or downloads from the Net under creative commons licence. All the acknowledgements may be found at the end of the booklet after information on my books.
I hope that those of you who download this will delve into it on the dark days and find that it puts the smile back on your face.
How would I describe it? Humorous, philosophical, satirical, stimulating, inspirational, illuminating, intriguing, thought-provoking, fresh, invigorating and delightful.
Enjoy!

                                                                   *********************

Lockdown  time

Good morning. It is 11.23 Tuesday morning, 24th March 2020. I am reclining on the sofa with my cuppa (no not wine, well in a week or two, maybe!) of coffee and watching Holly and Phillip on television. ‘This Morning’ they tell us has been declared essential in these trying times. The sun is shining, soon I shall go out and collect the bins. I heard the bin men come earlier and that is about all that is normal in this unprecedented situation.

Last night at 8.29 Boris Johnson, our PM, made an announcement. He explained the dire Coronavirus situation and desperate measures of isolation which must be taken in order to save lives. We already had restrictions in place, working from home where possible, self isolation, public places where peeps socialised advised to close, parks and open spaces staying open for exercise but we must stay two metres a part. Sadly, we have idiots in our community who decided to see the pleasant weekend as a holiday. They rushed to holiday spots and got as close to each other as they could. So now, we are in lockdown. Pretty soon, I guess most countries will be in the same situation. Some already are.

As many of you know I am a night owl. I rise late and am awake until the small hours. So, it was 10.30 when I strained myself to get out of bed on auto pilot. I walked into my library and looked out on to our little street which by this time of day is normally a car park. Today, just residents cars. No cars on the distant Tesco car park and very few vehicles on the road. At last peeps have heeded the warning and are forced to conform. Once dressed I visit the computer for email and games on FB. Was there a life before social media? Where would we be now without it?

Then, I staggered down the stairs, something which is getting harder with age. Breakfast time and turn on downstairs television and iPad. The first thing I do and have done for a week is look at the updated number of  Coronavirus cases locally. Depressing and frightening. Today, it’s 31. What will it be tomorrow?

Before the second cuppa I decided to go out at the back of my property and bring in the bins. I looked down the street and someone was taking the opportunity to clean her car but too far down to engage in conversation. Then another vehicle came round the corner, an opposite neighbour. Apparently, he had been out for essential items like milk and found it extremely difficult to find any. One of the supermarkets had an unimaginable queue of peeps clinging to trolleys at a safe distant apart. He eventually bought milk from a corner shop. Yes, we had social intercourse but were two metres apart.

After the second cuppa I returned to the library and worked at the computer while admiring the outside world. It was like being in that parallel universe I frequently talk of. So few vehicles and I observed two buses pass both without passengers. I guess the usual ones are senior citizens with passes and they are all in self isolation.

Later, I came back downstairs and opened up my porch/conservatory for the summer. During the winter months I only use it as storage. Soon, it will be full of beautiful plants with room for a chair so that I can sit in it and enjoy our glorious summer which will come at the end of this insanity.

For the rest of the day I have played games and watched television. I made one phone call. Part of my survival programme is to phone one person each day. I predict the telephone will make a come back and peeps will actually talk as opposed to texting. Right now, I’m watching a rerun of ‘Midsomer Murders’ with a glass of wine. As of yet I have not succumbed to the chocolate but tomorrow who knows?

Soon, I’m going to enjoy a bubble bath before retiring. Hey we’ve survived day one of lockdown and to quote Scarlett O’hara , ‘tomorrow is another day’.

Day 2,

Good morning! The sun is still shining. First things first, do I have a temperature or cough? No, so thankfully I have not yet succumbed to this virus. Thank you Lord for sparing me. If you remember, peeps, I lost my insignificant other to Cancer last September. He was a medium and I recall what he said after the 911 terrorist attack. It was the beginning of many bad things, there would be more attacks, floods and disease. It was going to be like the plagues of Egypt all over again and when it’s over the world will be a better place. Is this the last of the ‘new plagues’?

Breakfast time and I check the local number of cases, it is still 31. I guess that’s some good news for now. The breaking news is that Prince Charles has contracted the virus, even royalty is not immune. I wonder what would be on the news if there were no Coronavirus?

My plans for the rest of the day? First, second cuppa. Still no wine at breakfast time but I did finish a bottle off last night. Then, I’m gonna get the car out of the garage and clean the interior, maybe the outside. That depends on how energetic I feel. Later, I shall continue repotting or taking cuttings from my plants and put more of them into my summer conservatory. Yes, I’ll be watching television and on the computer. I shall also make my daily phone call. Have made a list and will phone Shirley, someone I met on hols a few years ago. I have decided to plan each evening for what I intend doing the next day. I may not stick to it but it’s worth a try.

As a writer I am used to solitude and self isolation so you would think this lockdown would be easy for me. No. The difference is one of choice. My freedom and freedom of choice have been taken from me. In one sense we are being treated like prisoners. Loss of freedom through no fault of our own or if we are suffering new plagues maybe it is our fault for choosing materialism over humanity during the last decades. We have become selfish and greedy people as opposed to considerate human beings. Just look at the empty supermarket shelves.

I’m now thinking about prisoners. Are they thinking, 'now you know how we feel?' Anyway, we must all stay positive and united through this madness.

Here I am again. It is 7.15 and I’m watching ‘Emmerdale’. The day has gone pretty well, all things considered. The car has had an interior clean and the surplus grime has been removed from the exterior. Full wash? Too energetic and not essential in these trying times. Yes, more plants are sorted and looking pretty in the conservatory. The birds have been fed. 

I made that phone call and, I think, I brightened the day for someone. She seemed to think it was a good idea. I have another victim ready for tomorrow.

Today, we have all been aware of the best and the worst of people. Over 400,000 have answered the Governments call for help. At the other extreme there’s profiteering and those trying to steal NHS workers identity badges to get priority at supermarkets. On a positive note it does seem that the message is hitting home. Fewer people congregating and more staying at home.

Somehow, we will get through this. I have plans for tomorrow.

Day 3,

Good morning peeps,

It’s about 11.00 and I’m enjoying breakfast while looking at the sunshine. It’s not raining and that’s something to be thankful for. Each morning and actually throughout the day I’m checking my forehead. Am I feverish? Now, I had a slight cough before this pandemic. Like most things I put it down to old age but each time I cough I ask myself the question, Is it a dry cough? Then I check my forehead again. So far, I’m fine. I’ve checked the local casualty list and that’s not so good. It has gone up to 50.

Hey, positivity is a must in these situations. Firstly, staying at home means staying at home but your home includes balconies, gardens, drives and patios! Also, we are luckier than in previous decades because we have television and social media. Think back to the days of bubonic plague.

What are my plans for today? Enjoy it, make the most of it and get through it. I will be spring cleaning, carrying on potting plants, washing up and I will be doing a special blog for tomorrow. Next weekend my little booklet LIFE IS… will be on free download. The book designed to cheer people up. Later today I will make the daily phone call and at 8.00 pm I shall be applauding our NHS workers.

Stay safe and well.

                                                ****************

That is my first three days of ramblings, activities, positivity and even without ice cream. I would like to share one further thing with you from my JUST BE POSITIVE post last year.

All of my New year blogs are optimistic and offer positivity for the future. I've suggested taking new ideas and opportunities; taking each day as a new beginning. Looking at life as an exciting adventure; seeing every day as a holiday. Always looking for the good and the advantage of every situation or dilemma. So, I would like to leave you with this blog in the hope that if you are going through a difficult time you may find something positive besides a smile to help you through the dark days.


Until next week, stay safe and well in lockdown. All my love Lady M xxxx




Friday, 20 March 2020

My First THREE books!




 Hello Everyone,

For those of you who ask the question, How long does it take to write a book? It took 3 years to write Time & Tide, my first published book. It was designed with the Millennium in mind. At that time there was much euphoria about the 'good old days' and all that had happened in the twentieth century and I thought it would be a good idea to take a character born on January 1st 1950 who would be celebrating her 50th birthday at the Millennium and create a family saga around her and those 50 years. I created the Stephenson family with Irene Joy born in 1950 and named Irene because the name means 'peace' in Greek. She was a symbol of hope for the future after the first part of the century had seen two World Wars. In addition to the narrative I gave Irene's mother the role of writing a diary but not just a personal one, one which included the social and historical events throughout the 50 years and it interspersed throughout the book in italics. 

I will share the synopsis with you.
'TIME AND TIDE' tells the story of Irene Joy Stephenson, born on January 1 1950. The Prologue sets the scene for her fiftieth birthday; chapter one goes back in time to her birth. She realizes that life is cruel at an early age when her mother attempts suicide and her brother dies on his first birthday. When she is ten the family move from a Nottinghamshire village to a country estate, owned by Lord Fordingham, where her father takes up the post of Estate Manager. She, and the gardener's son, Daniel become childhood sweethearts. They plan their future together; they both pass the 11+ examination and take up places at the local Grammar School. They are inseparable until he is killed in a car accident. She returns to school as a sixth-former, takes the 'A' level exams and then attends the local College of Education. In her final year she meets Philip White. They qualify as teachers and marry in 1972 before taking up posts in Birmingham. On her wedding night she realizes that it has all been a mistake. She does not love him but was infatuated by his similarity to Daniel. They drift apart; he has an affair with a sixth-former from his school. He and Irene divorce and he leaves the area with his pregnant girlfriend in disgrace. Irene is left devastated and alone again. Her Head of Department helps her pick up the pieces of her broken life. Their relationship develops; they marry and are happy but it is short lived. He has a tragic accident before he finds out he is to be a father. Irene returns to her parents at Fordingham and gives birth to a son who only lives for a few months. The local vicar tries to help her through the trauma. She becomes involved in the Church and eventually marries him. As the vicar's wife she feels that she has found her true vocation in life. In 1993 the Rev. Alistair Duncan finds that he cannot come to terms with female vicars. Priesthood for him is a male domain. His solution is to tell  the Bishop telling of his crisis of faith and his wish not to be found before disappearing. Irene spends the last years of the nineties just waiting for January 2000 when seven years after his desertion she will officially become a widow. She must carry on with her life in the new century because 'TIME AND TIDE' wait for no one'. Throughout the story, in the form of a diary written by Irene's mother, is a concise history of events, changes and discoveries during the second half of the twentieth century, possibly the most dynamic fifty years in our history.
                                       *********************************************


Now, for my SECOND published book, No Regrets.

This book was originally written during the six week summer holidays in 1987 when I was still teaching. The time taken to write a book is like the proverbial piece of string. It varies according to the author and the type of book. Writing must be about the only occupation where there is no set pattern for working. It was originally titled Innocent Victim and a diary of a divorced woman and teacher throughout the year of 1986. I was divorced, and teaching in the UK was not easy as the education system was undergoing radical change. I was thoroughly disillusioned with the entire system and wrote a rather dramatic line, 'one day someone will realise that education is about children'! Redeployment was everywhere and the majority of my colleagues seemed to be more concerned with their own careers and promotions than with the children. I was pleased with the end result and attempted to get it published in mainstream in the late 80's and 90's. I had got a lot to learn before moving on to self-publishing. After Time & Tide, I decided to retrieve the Innocent Victim manuscript and rewrite it. I published a slightly longer version as No Regrets in 2003. All the characters are fictitious and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is pure coincidence. Dear Joanna finds herself in constant turmoil, 'The absolute lay on the table...'. She was divorced and had suffered the humiliation of her husband leaving her for a younger model. Everything had changed and all that she had taken for granted as a married woman had disappeared. She was now alone and must face financial, emotional, sexual and all the problems that life after a failed marriage brings. Life beyond her sanctuary continues regardless of her feelings or situation; she becomes a prey for every man in creation since Adam and learns to use sex to her own advantage...

Or as my editor at that time, John Jenkins wrote for the blurb:


 “When we meet the heroine, 30-something Joanna, she is newly divorced and trying to rebuild her life. We share her innermost thoughts, as she realises that she has to come to terms with being an available single woman for any predatory male among her neighbours and at the school where she teaches, a hotbed of professional and sexual duplicity. How she reconciles her new role in life, copes and fails to cope with the challenges, results in a diary-based novel startling in its frankness. Marilyn L Rice brings acute observation to her story which moves along at a pace, fully involving the reader. Many will identify with the agonising decisions facing professional women. This is reality in today’s world.”   

                                    ****************************************

Now, for my THIRD published book, Stay in Touch

When I wrote this book I was proud to be able to say that I was an author and publisher of 'books' as opposed to just one book. With this book I confessed to being an absolute hoarder and justified never throwing anything away because it might come in useful one day. In the 1980's a friend suggested that I write a play for a competition and it was at a time when I had met up with an old school friend. We had been communicating by sending postcards, birthday cards and Christmas cards with scribbled notes for many years and promising to meet up but had never managed to find the time. At last, we were together in my home telling each other of marriages, divorces, and events throughout the fifteen years since leaving school.
It was this incident which inspired me to write a play set in the cafĂ© on Sheffield station. Two friends meet and tell each other of their lives in a hurried hour and promise to Stay in Touch but of course they both know they will not! That's Life!
I was thinking about what to write next and looking through files when I discovered this forgotten play and asked many questions, What if? What if one is poor and one is rich? What if they both wanted what the other had? What if they would do whatever if takes to get it? What if they had set themselves goals to achieve in their childhood and decided to do them?
The Blurb, written by my editor John Jenkins

"Just what can drive a woman to murder? Or even three murders? Men. How can she become a serial killer, undetected and rich on the proceeds of her crimes? It all seems so simple for Christabelle after failed marriages to a homosexual and a bigamist. She confides only so much to her best friend as they recall their youthful wishes and dreams. If you have ever written down 50 things you intend to do before 30,40 or 50 you will understand and marvel at this black comedy.
Marilyn L Rice has written a story which races along with the pace of a thriller yet shrewdly observes the problems facing women today and a terrifying solution of how they can be overcome.
And when you have finished the book the story will stay long in your mind...whether you are a woman - or even more so if you are a man."

Time & Tide  and No Regrets are still available. For signed copies just send me a message! Stay in Touch is now out of print but copies may still be available on eBay or Amazon.

Have a great week!

Lady M xxx

Friday, 13 March 2020

FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH

                                             
                                                             
Is he thinking, 'It's Friday 13th.'?


Hello everyone,

According to our calendar, today is FRIDAY, 13TH MARCH. It is a day that many people fear; it's associated with tragedy, disaster and awful things. Well, if you are superstitious. Friday and the thirteenth are both considered unlucky and together means 'double' unlucky. It has its own name... friggatriaskaidekaphobia  after the Norse god FRIGG as Friday is named after him or in Greek, it's paraskeveidekatriaphobia. There are some who have a complete phobia relating to the number thirteen; this is triskaidekaphobia.

Where does this fear originate from? One theory is that it originated from the fact that Christ was crucified on a Friday and that there were thirteen at the Last Supper; this  derives from Christianity/Judaism. There is nothing else that is specific for this superstition. It may be that Christ was crucified on 13th, or 13th is associated with the Flood and Noah or Eve's temptation in the Garden of Eden was on 13th. None of these theories can be proven.

Leaving Christianity and Judaism aside there's also a possibility that it derives from Norse mythology where 12 gods were at the banquet in Valhalla. Loke, the demi-god of mischief was not invited but chose to attend bringing the number to 13. Also, in Ancient Egypt 13 was associated with death and the afterlife.

Some people will dispute all of these things as utter nonsense  because they have been lucky winning the Lottery on 13th. Euro Lottery does have two draws a week on Tuesday and Friday but aren't the odds of winning something like 70 million to 1? These odds mean that the majority of people who enter the draw on Friday 13th are going to be unlucky and LOSE money.

Are you a friggatriaskaidekaphobic? Will you be taking the day of work, changing your plans, refusing to fly or just staying in bed or the day? However, there is only ONE more Friday 13th's this year; it is in November.  So think positive, stay strong and have a happy 13th.

Lady M xxx
Just drink champagne all day!
                              
He's not worried about Friday 13th!








               

Friday, 6 March 2020

Giving!




Hello Everyone,
Hey, we've hit March and, hopefully you've not a victim of either the latest virus and in isolation or of the horrendous floods in the UK! For most of us in the Northern Hemisphere spring is on the way, warmth, ice cream, sunny days and happiness lie ahead of us. If you're in the Southern Hemisphere I'm hoping you will have a mild winter.

After trying to convince you throughout January that the glass is always half full and last month that giving is a blessing and nice thing to do I would like to continue this week with the 'giving' theme.

I started by suggesting that  a book is a gift for life and then moved to the more expensive gift, diamonds. Now, I'm thinking of gifts that are priceless but cost nothing. My personal March gifts to you are on this blog, daffodils, snowdrops and a sunset. 

What can you give that is free? There is a saying that the greatest gift you can ever give is 'time'. Time to listen, time to help, just finding the time to spend with someone, time to give advice, time to pick up the phone or in more modern times text someone to make sure they're okay, time to volunteer... 

Other things which are free are just being nice, smiling, caring, kindness and being happy. These things are infectious.

Something else which you may not even realise you are doing is giving people hope. You never know when you are someone's last hope. Yes, the world is full of scammers but there are also genuine people who need help. They may or may not ask you but if they do you won't know whether you are that last hope. Could you turn them away? 

Another thing that is free to do and help others is with prayer. Okay, you may not be religious but never underestimate the power of prayer. There are numerous examples of peeps who, in despair, have used this method as a kind of last resort only to be amazed at the result. Many years ago, a colleague phoned me one night in floods of tears. She was unemployed, savings were low and those awful bills did not stop arriving. The people at her church had suggested prayer. She left saying she needed practical help not prayer and then came to me. Now, I'm sure those people in church prayed for her. My response was to give her information on how to work in Market Research. She followed it up and was soon employed by Market Research companies. So, why did she choose me that night? She could have gone elsewhere or done nothing! Was it just coincidence? You may think it was but I do not.

I, personally, am always pleased when I see kindness and giving in action. I will never forget the time I was sitting at this computer day-dreaming and for no particular reason looked out of the window at the bridge over the expressway. I gasped in horror as someone climbed over the railing, looked down and was contemplating jumping. Before I could even reach the phone to dial the emergency services several peeps had stopped, moved over towards her and were acting to prevent her from committing suicide. These were ordinary people who were showing kindness and caring for another human being.

Then, there are those people who are always prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice in their chosen professions. In particular, our emergency services...fire, police and ambulance. These humans answer the shouts whatever never knowing what will greet them at the scene. In addition, in our modern society where we are at war with terrorism, there have been numerous heroes with no thought for their own lives have attempted to give and help others at these horrendous scenes. These people are real givers and not takers.

In life there are both givers and takers. From my experience the takers tend to be more selfish often chasing money and getting what they can out of other people. The ones I can think of are unhappy, insecure, discontented  people with miserable, stone faces. Happiness comes from being content with what you have. Givers tend to be happier people with smiling faces and a bright outlook on life.

Be a giver not a taker!

All my love and wishing you happiness, Lady M xxxxx



















Friday, 28 February 2020

Diamonds are a girl's best friend!

Diamond, Gem, 3D, Sparkle, Gloss, Shining, Expensive
A diamond is forever!
Hello everyone, I'm still thinking about 'giving'. A book is a gift for life but there are many other things which may be given that last a life time. I delved into the archives and found this one from July last year. Who doesn't like receiving diamonds or any jewellery? Always considered to be the perfect gift albeit an expensive one; far more expensive than a book. ********************************** Well, it's July and that means half of the year has disappeared...fallen down the famous black hole never to return. Hopefully, you have happy memories so far and more good times ahead. I was approached by Kaitlin Enderley from the Mondiamo diamond company based in New York regarding a guest post on diamonds. Well, I just love diamonds; in fact all jewellery. They submitted this article which I read with interest and decided to share with you. Isn't that pic a stunner and inviting? If you need more info on diamonds or any advice visit https://www.mondiamo.com/about-us
Numerous factors impact the value of a diamond. Familiarizing yourself with them helps you better understand your diamonds’ worth. You’re able to make more informed decisions about buying and
selling diamonds as a result.

Specifically, it’s important to learn about the following essentials. While they are by no means the only factors contributing to a diamond’s value, they are among the more significant.

Cut

People often mistakenly assume cut refers to a diamond’s shape. In truth, it actually refers to the way in which its proportions interact with light to generate certain effects. For instance, a diamond with a high cut grade might return light through the crown in a way that makes it sparkle. A diamond with a lower cut grade won’t look as dynamic.

Color

The differences in color between one diamond and another are often difficult to see if you don’t have training. However, experts typically grade diamonds on a color scale ranging from D to Z. The closer to Z, the greater the color.

This isn’t desirable. Valuable diamonds are closer to D on the scale.

Clarity

It’s extremely difficult to find a diamond that hasn’t naturally developed some imperfections. They may have some blemishes (exterior marks), inclusions (interior marks), or both. This is what experts look at when assessing a diamond’s clarity.

Higher value diamonds have fewer blemishes and/or inclusions. Again, you’ll almost certainly never find a diamond that is completely flawless, but the closer to flawless it is, the better.

Carat

It’s not uncommon for people to assume carat is a measurement of a diamond’s size. However, it’s actually a weight measurement. A diamond that’s essentially the same size as another may have a different carat weight. That’s why experts pay attention to carat’s relationship with all the other factors listed here when determining how it impacts a diamond’s value.

Fluorescence

Fluorescent diamonds emit blue, green, yellow, or white light when exposed to short-wave ultraviolet light. Sometimes fluorescence has no effect on a diamond’s usual appearance because it’s only noticeable in certain conditions. That said, there are instances in which fluorescence can create a milky effect inside a diamond which reduces its value.

Colored Diamonds

Remember, typical white diamonds become less valuable the more colorful they are. That’s not the case with colored diamonds. Fancy color diamonds become more valuable with greater color saturation. That’s partially due to the fact that very colorful diamonds are particularly rare.

It’s worth noting that no factor listed here is more important than any others. Professionals consider all of them when determining a diamond’s value. The more you understand them, the easier it will be to make smart choices when buying a new diamond or selling one you currently own. Love to you all, Lady M xxx