WORLD READ ALOUD DAY

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5th February

Hope all the parents are letting their children read allowed to them tonight, even if it is while you are cooking dinner there is nothing better for the parents or the children. This is a close bonding time that many children adore with them always trying their best.

I hold the STORYTELLING GROUP in the WELLBEING CENTRE in Folkestone every Thursday from 1pm until 2.30  There is always a group around the table ready to listen or to tell their story. Some write it themselves while others read their favourite poem or story to the others. We have a theme most weeks that revolves around our wellbeing.

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LOOKING FOR LOCAL LOVING?

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VALENTINES DAY

I am sure some of you dread the thought of Valentine’s day and everything that it entails, as if you are single it’s like rubbing your nose in it. From card shops to jewellers, flowers and even those cheap Poundland shops they will be full of lovey-dovey stuff.

BUT, I bet you wouldn’t be thinking so negatively if you had someone to buy a card for and I don’t mean your pet, although you can get cards to and from your furry friend. Anyway, let us get back to finding a man, I can assure you it’s not an easy task, especially trying to find the right one.

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All this is about to change as I have found some great local dating sites, you may be thinking that you have met many local men and there are not that many single ones about, but wait, have you thought about the good things about finding someone local? No travelling to meet them, much easier to jump in a taxi, having a friend at the meeting place who just happened to be there as you both live in that town/village. How nice it must be to meet someone for lunch during the week as you both work in the town centre. I could go on about the advantages of dating local, why did I not realise all this before now?

TRAVELLING

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I’m off to Scotland soon so think I might have a look at the local talent there as I just Love Glasgow Singles their accent is so sexy and the plus is, my friend is on this site and she keeps telling me how great Glasgow dating is, look out Scotland, you have been warned!

The other great thing about these dating sites is that you get to meet many other people as not everyone goes to the pub to meet someone new. I think it would be just great to meet someone that was into reading as what a great topic, talking about your favourite books. This works for lots of hobbies like sports, films, fashion, DIY, in fact, it would be great to meet a handyman if your decorating or doing up your house.

HOBBIES

If you put all your hobbies, likes, dislikes and favourite things on your profile you have a great chance of finding someone just like you are looking for, Valentine’s day wouldn’t be so miserable then, would it?

SURREY SINGLES

Going out where you live is definitely the way forward as who really wants a long-distance relationship plus if you are just looking for companionship it really is much easier if you are both living in the same place theSurrey dating site is one of my favourites.

A couple of my friends Love Surrey Singles as they arranged to meet their dates at the same place, they all ended up having such a great night they all became best friends and did eventually pair up with each others date, that was after a couple of years. What a great outcome though and also it gives hope to all us single soles, loitering about waiting for our Valentine.

THE MONTH OF LOVE

They say February is the month of love so let us get that loving feeling going and don’t forget to get a card, it is the giving that makes you feel good all over.

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Happy dating guys

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THE NEW SKATE PARK IN FOLKESTONE

We have waited a long time for this to be finished but it is supposed to open in the summer of this year 2020. To me, it looks a bit like a hot air balloon but I can assure you this will not be getting off the ground, the amount of concrete they have poured into these ramps and slopes is amazing. Costing far more than the estimated price and prices for materials constantly going up it has proved to be something that swallows funds just by standing there.

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The only thing that saved it was the amount of tourism it will bring to the area as this will be an award-winning site for skateboarding with many competitions being held here and people attending from worldwide.

Folkestone is fast becoming the most popular town for Londoners to move down to as we have the high-speed train that gets you into London in fifty minutes. Our properties are a lot lower priced than up in town and of course, we have the sea.

There are also a lot of new townhouses being built along the front this year which I am sure will sell before they are even finished.

If you’re looking to spend a few days here then I personally recommend an Airbnb which has fantastic reviews here.    

 

 

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LIVING ALONE, GOING SOLO

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I saw this on Facebook and it really made me think that the stigma of a lady walking in a pub on her own is still very much happening in the UK. The only thing that is helping with this are the many cafe/bars that are open now so if you are single and fancy a drink you can go to one of those.

We have a few in Folkestone including The Hideaway, Bella Vita, Marleys, Rocco’s, The Chambers to name a few and I think this is happening in many towns. The traditional local pub is not so popular with many closing over the last ten years.

I think if the place was known as a solo bar then you would chat to people close to you to make new friends, not sure if the idea will take off here but I am sure it would be popular at first. Especially with the middle age group that are starting out again as single as for some that is very hard to do and you tend to find your friends have halved in numbers from when you were a couple.

How do you find living alone?

For most, I think they find the thought of it very hard and not something they would like so they tend to go from relationship to relationship to avoid that issue. I often think if they were to just try it for a year I am sure they would enjoy it and once you get used to your own company, you also like yourself more and do more for yourself.

I have lived alone for over ten years now and still love it, I have built up friends also places I go and in the last year, I have tried other well being practises. I have my writing group which has proved far more popular than the dreams I had in the beginning, my blog, then in the summer, I have the sun, sea and garden. A lot of the teenage grandchildren are at work or college now so I don’t get to see them as much but it is so good having my three children around me it gives you a safe, loved feeling as you get older.

Are you alone and happy?

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NEVER ALONE BY ELIZABETH HAYNES – BOOK REVIEW

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Elizabeth Haynes’ new psychological thriller is a brilliantly suspenseful and shocking story in which nothing is at it seems, but everything is at stake.

Sarah Carpenter lives in an isolated farmhouse in North Yorkshire and for the first time, after the death of her husband some years ago and her children, Louis and Kitty, leaving for university, she’s living alone. But she doesn’t consider herself lonely. She has two dogs, a wide network of friends and the support of her best friend, Sophie.

When an old acquaintance, Aiden Beck, needs somewhere to stay for a while, Sarah’s cottage seems ideal; and renewing her relationship with Aiden gives her a reason to smile again. It’s supposed to be temporary, but not everyone is comfortable with the arrangement: her children are wary of his motives, and Will Brewer, an old friend of her son’s, seems to have taken it upon himself to check up on Sarah at every opportunity. Even Sophie has grown remote and distant. After Sophie disappears, it’s clear she hasn’t been entirely honest with anyone, including Will, who seems more concerned for Sarah’s safety than anyone else. As the weather closes in, events take a dramatic turn and Kitty too goes missing. Suddenly Sarah finds herself in terrible danger, unsure of who she can still trust. But she isn’t facing this alone; she has Aiden, and Aiden offers the protection that Sarah needs. Doesn’t he?

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Elizabeth Haynes worked for many years as a police intelligence analyst. Her debut novel, Into the Darkest Corner, won Amazon’s Book of the Year in 2011 and Amazon’s Rising Star Award for debut novels.

Elizabeth grew up in Sussex and studied English, German and Art History at Leicester University. She now lives in North Norfolk. Elizabeth is a regular participant in, and a Municipal Liaison for, National Novel Writing Month – Nanowrimo – an annual challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November.

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What did I think?

Absolutely bloody brilliant but then Elizabeth Haynes books always are and this goes to the top. It not only keeps you guessing with each new piece of evidence but it makes you change your mind about who is behind it all. I could not stop reading this and I will blame Elizabeth for the bags under my eyes.

The characters are perfect for the place they all live and work perfectly together even if there is a bit of a surprise about the employment of one of them. Twists and turns keep the suspense going all the way through. I cannot wait to read another one of her books.

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Put this on your to be read list quick.

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BEST OF JANUARY

Why does January always feel so long and like it is never going to end and the worse bit hurry up payday?

 I have been doing the storytelling again this month and last week I tried the meditation, which I must say was very good. This is the first time it has actually worked on me so I will be giving it another go.

My writing group moved into their new premises, which is proving to be great for everyone. We have a book swap there also, so, many of the books I review will be going there. We had a great author event where we spoke to two authors about their journeys to publishing. We raised some money for MIND last year so I presented that to them.

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I started a Spiritual segment on my blog, very excited about getting some guest posts on there.

I tried some skin and health products, this serum was very good and I would recommend this to you all.

The Sundose really did make me feel better, I slept better and my general health was not as bad as it usually is especially this time of year.

January was not as cold as it could have been so that really helped my bones and joints. I feel this month has taken a long time to get through but the thought of a great summer holiday has cheered us all along. The cat is a bit poorly so I am hoping she improves.

What was your best part of January?

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THE BODY IN THE SNOW BY NICK LOUTH – BOOK REVIEW

PUBLISHED BY CANELO ON 31st JANUARY 2020

Money, success, family? All deadly… The new unputdownable DCI Gillard thriller.

A young detective is out for a jog on a snowy winter morning. Then she sees something terrible: a murder in the park, sudden and inexplicable. A woman has been killed by a passing hooded cyclist.

It’s just DCI Craig Gillard’s luck that he’s on duty. The body is that of Tanvi Roy, one of the richest women in Britain and matriarch of a food empire. With a tangled web of family and business contacts and jealousies, Gillard’s job just got even more complex.

As he delves deeper into the Roy family, it’s clear that everything is not as it seems. As the investigation threatens to unravel, Gillard realises it’s only the beginning of his problems. Trouble of a different sort is brewing close to home…

Perfect for readers of D.K. Hood, Patricia Gibney and Mark Billingham, The Body in the Snow is a remarkable and gripping crime thriller.

IMG_2422Nick Louth is a best-selling thriller writer, award-winning financial journalist and an investment commentator. A 1979 graduate of the London School of Economics, he went on to become a Reuters foreign correspondent in 1987. It was an experience at a medical conference in Amsterdam in 1992 while working for Reuters, that gave him the inspiration for Bite, which was published in 2007 and went on to become the UK No1 Kindle best-seller for several weeks in 2014. It has sold a third of a million copies and been translated into six languages.

Freelance since 1998, he has been a regular contributor to the Financial Times, Investors Chronicle and Money Observer, and has published seven other books. Nick Louth is married and lives in Lincolnshire.

Heartbreaker was published in June 2014 and received critical acclaim from Amazon readers, with a 4.6 out of 5 stars on over 100 reviews. A third thriller, Mirror Mirror, was published in June 2016, and The Body in the Marsh in September 2017.

‘To the frustration of my publishers, I’ve wandered between many sub-genres of the thriller world – medical, terrorism, psychological – and even a hint of zombie! I’ve also packed in issues that are normally covered in women’s fiction in commercial novels that have the pace deemed necessary to lure male readers. This is deliberate. I spent years as a journalist, and remain wedded to the idea that action and page-turning power should not deduct from the ‘intelligence’ of a book, or lead it away from the grey areas of contemporary issues to conclusions set in black and white.’

‘In Bite, this was the way that (at the time of writing in the late 1990s) diseases that killed the most people were those that got the least investment by drug companies – because the customers were poor.’

‘In Heartbreaker, part of which is set in a refugee camp in Lebanon, I wanted to show the dilemmas facing Western journalists who routinely cover terrible events, and the price that are paid by the drivers, translators and fixers who work for them. Radicalisation, particularly how it works on women, is a key part of the book and has since publication in 2014 become an even more topical issue since the rises of ISIS in Syria.’

‘With Mirror Mirror, I have dived into the world of women’s identity and self-image in the age of celebrity and branding. Why a beautiful woman, beaten up by her famous boyfriend, is persuaded not to report it to the police, to protect the value of a forthcoming branding deal. I hope readers will look at the questions posed in this book, and my others, and when the last page is turned have something to take away with them.’

‘The Body in the Marsh is my first police procedural, set in Surrey and the Romney Marsh area of Kent. It’s a tale of a shocking murder, reflecting an unhappy marriage in the midst of apparent success, and contains what I think is my best-ever twist.’

WHAT DID I THINK?

I really love Nick’s stories as they keep you guessing, I can never work it out. He also writes some of the best twists I have ever read. You can tell he is a professional writer as his writing just flows at the correct pace to keep you turning those pages. This kept me awake reading it as I could not work out who had done what. I was surprised at the end as well. Great story and another bestseller.

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‘Tips To Create A Relaxing Outdoor Space’

A relaxing outdoor space can be easy to achieve, and it’s important you make this happen when it comes to your own. To spend more time in your garden is important and it’s good to get some fresh air and have a change of scenery. Here are some tips for creating a relaxing outdoor space.

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Install A Water Feature

A water feature is a must in any garden because the sound of trickling water can be so calming when you’re outside, sitting down and just enjoying the day. They’re fairly easy to install and depending on how big you want the feature, depends on the cost. Some people enjoy a pond and perhaps a fountain to go in the middle. If you’re looking for something a little more subtle, then a birdbath that streams water steadily is certainly useful to have in your outdoor space. Water that’s flowing just gives your space a sound amongst the sounds you hear from various wildlife too. And if you’re close to a main road, there’s nothing like that trickling water sound coming back into focus after a noisy car has just driven past.

Choose Calming Colours For Flowers

Calm can often come from the colours we enjoy in our life. Whether that’s through the food we eat, what we paint our walls in and the flowers we pick for our garden. From thuja occidentalis to the common Rosebush, there are so many different plant species out there, and so you can really pick any colour template you want when it comes to your garden. After all, you’re going to be the one who has to tend to it and spends the most time in it. Think about what colours calm you down and then think about how to incorporate them stylishly in your outdoor space.

Invest In Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture is important because if you’re wanting the opportunity to socialise and entertain your guests, then having furniture for people to sit on is essential. Try to find pieces that are durable against the wet weather and can easily be cleaned up after a period of time where it’s gone unused. Think about how big you want this outdoor furniture to be, and it needs to at least cater for your household currently.

Encourage Wildlife 

The wildlife that you get in your outdoor space can be dictated by what you put in it. From bird feed to water features, all of this can help encourage different forms of wildlife. Be careful when installing bird feeders though that they’re only possible for birds to get out, otherwise, you might have unwanted vermin in your garden which might find a home in your house. Creating a relaxing, outdoor space can be done by attracting wildlife, so incorporate it where you can.

Being able to lay back and enjoy your outdoor surroundings is just as important as enjoying your indoor one. Use these tips to perfect your garden so that you can enjoy it more!

 

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WELLBEING CENTRE WITH THE ESSENCE OF HOPE

At the Wellbeing centre in Folkestone by the Sainsburys in town, you will often find some lovely presents for yourself or others. Last week I got a gorgeous smelling air freshener for the car. THE ESSENCE OF HOPE is all made by a local lady, this includes diffusers, melts and super smelling candles plus the air fresheners.

 

I am hoping there will be some melts on their own next week as I have got all the pots you put them in. Have you noticed that all the small candles are getting even smaller so they don’t burn for very long at all now?  These make good gifts although I tend to buy things from here for myself as a treat. The CBD bath bombs have all gone so I need to find a new supply of those plus I was told you can get decaffeinated CBD T bags! So I am on the lookout for those, there seems to be a lot of places from America selling those but I prefer to buy local plus the postage from there is atrocious.

It is such a good feeling buying local and supporting the people that are really trying to forge a living for themselves.

Do you buy local produce?

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THE LADIES WENT FOR LUNCH

THE HUNGRY HORSE, BLACK BULL IN FOLKESTONE

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It has been over a year since we visited this pub/restaurant, nothing has really changed decor-wise and the management appears to be the same as well. We were hoping the service had improved and the service of food.

The deals were still very good with something every day plus the GOLDEN YEARS menu which is very cheap and probably cheaper than cooking yourself. As it was Wednesday some decided to go for the CURRY DEAL which again was such good value.

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Plus you get a drink with this all for £5.50

75A08788-3D93-41E8-8377-CC8709AA7249 The GOLDEN YEARS is still a good-sized portion with a dessert, sorry no photo but it was very nice.

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The others had the wraps, which I must say take a lot of eating then there was the scampi which you normally get chips with.

 The food came out piping hot, I had the Korma curry that had lots of chicken in it plus being very tasty.

For some reason I only took a picture of my dessert lol I was probably too busy eating it! I do love the millionaire dessert.

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We all enjoyed the food, the service was good even though we had to wait for two of the main courses to come out. There was a problem with the till accepting the curry deals which had happened to myself and two friends the previous week so I would have thought that would have been fixed by now, that is the fault of head office, not this pub I would like to add. The lady that sorted the bill was very efficient, polite plus told us to go and sit down while she sorted it out, I would go so far as to say she was far more helpful and nice than the manager has been in the past.

I feel that this pub concentrates more on the drinkers and events in the evenings more so now as they have a license until one am. I can often hear the music where I live so it can be annoying especially in the summer when in the garden and the windows are open. As they removed the play equipment from the garden it is not really a family pub anymore which is such a shame because it was popular with a fenced garden plus parking facilities.

Having a good catch up with friends is always amazing no matter where we are and you would think that a once a month lunch for nine would be a good incentive to be amazing.

Next month we are going to the perfect setting at The Grand.

 

 

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