Book Recommendation: Checkout Girl

Memories of a checkout girl – only 178 pages, 76p at Amazon, and well worth a read.

Be honest – do YOU always see the person who is serving you at the till and make a conscious effort to acknowledge her?


Political Correctness Gone Mad

I had an email today, about a colleague from another department, obviously not known by name, needing something: “She`s always really chatty, with a big smile, always laughing…” Turned out she was referring to the only woman in the entire building (150+ staff) who is black. What`s the world coming to, if you cannot even use the color of her skin to give a physical description?


Assertively saying no to the requests of others rather than giving in protects the relationship from ressentment that would arise if you felt like you had to say yes when you really didn`t want to.

Know what your values and morals are and stick to them. When people ask you to do something that goes against your values you aren`t going to feel good about yourself if you agree to their request.

(The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Workbook for Bipolar Disorder – Using DBT to regain Control of Your Life – Sheri van Dijk MSW)

Car Insurance – it pays to shop around!


I just received my renewal letter, with a 20% price increase over last year. Of course I phoned and was told that all premiums went up this year, with my increase seeming small, blabla.

I still had two weeks until the renewal is actually due, so I went onto GoCompare and found another insurance who beat my own by £8.oo.

So I phoned them back and asked if they can match that, otherwise I`d be looking to swap (yeah, I know its a lot of hassle for £8.oo, but I knew they would…). Additionally, I slightly reduced my annual mileage, and after a lengthy-ish wait, the guy came back onto the phone reducing my premium to what is actually now £5.oo less than last year!!

Never just accept that prices are just going up!! 🙂

Memories of a Summmer…

Today is perfect. I’m in Agios Apostoli, near Chania on Crete, and have been for over a week now for my annual summer holiday.

Right now, I’m sitting under a tree at the pool of our small hotel. There’s only 30 rooms, each with its own entrance from the garden or terraces, feeling like one’s own appartment. We have our own small terrace, on which we just shared bread, cheese, olives and wine which we picked up from a closeby supermarket. The pool is small, but we often have it to ourselves, and there’s never disappointment for not getting a bed, even though there’s just 6 of them. I can see the owner’s own washing drying from here, right next to where he’s parked his motorbike. It’s a family business, small, friendly and very personal, yet I feel we’re left alone in the way we want to.

There are no animators trying to entice me out of my corner saying they only need one more person for their game of cards, and there’s no annoying entertainment at night either. The other day, we went to buy a bottle of wine from the bar just as they were closing, and when we sat down with it, a plate with feta, tomatoes and olives appeared: “Greeks don’t drink wine without something! “We stayed seated until long after the guy had left.

We don’t eat here, just breakfast. We like to try different places, and, as usual, we’re eating so well. Loads of fresh fish and seafood, and all healthy if you don’t go for the things that are deep fried or very obviously marketed for the tourists who are scared of local food.

Agios Apostoli is quiet and sleepy, but it’s not far to Chania, which is much more lively, with cute little side streets with cobbles and pretty houses, bars right by the sea and, of course, shops. I must say, my husband has done better than me on the shopping. Yesterday, we got a glass of Raki each for paying in cash for a watch he wanted. I’m actually quite warming to a glass or two of Raki. No hangover either. I bought a gorgeous mustard yellow silk dress and finally succumbed to a selfie stick because I’m always so annoyed at his pictures of me (he always manages to fit in a bin, lorry, third arm or the like…). I should have bought one much earlier. They’re great for parties.

There are cats everywhere, kittens even – sleeping under cars in the sweltering midday heat, begging for food in tavernas and gliding past us wherever we go. We met an interesting couple from Birmingham who’ll pinch cold meats from the breakfast buffet and then take it to the backstreets calling the cats. My husband found them odd, but I’m not much better. I always photograph the cats and try to touch them, and these are friendly. I feel I’m already dead and gone to heaven, but with most of them unneutered, I can see why they are considered a problem, and I’ve been told that locals are fined if their cats have babies too often.

Oh, and the sunsets are amazing.

I’ve got pictures (this one here showing the pool, taken right now) for every day of the year until I go away again…

hotel pool crete agios apostoli elotia


To Self Host or Not to Self Host?

I`m now starting to think I should cancel the self hosted blog and start developing this one here instead.

I want and need the community, there is no point in blogging if not to connect with others.

I can still use a different, self hosted, platform for my shop.

I think I will post on two platforms for a while, until I decide. I can cancel the self hosting contract within the first month at no charge.

Any thoughts?

On Quitting

The other day, we were talking about Shades of Grey again, and how we all read through the three books, even though we hated them.

Why did we do that?

Scared to miss something, like that really dreadful party which I refused to leave even after I had an argument with someone, because I was scared that all would change as soon as I left, and then I`d regret it?

Scared not to be able to participate in the chat? Everybody, I mean, absolutely everybody, was talking about Shades of Grey, and it was almost as if you got respect for being further on, more “in the know”. And we egged each other on. “Are you there yet?” – “Have you read that bit yet?” – “Oh, you MUST!” Peer pressure kept us going.

And three years on, we all went on to see the film and then complained about that.

Actually, when I think about it, I stuck with a lot of things I didn`t enjoy – because it was easy, or because I didn`t want to be seen quitting. Friendships, jobs. With the jobs, I suppose I was just lethargic. It didn`t really occur to me that I could just leave. I was good at my job and scared to have that taken away from me when I start out afresh elsewhere. And I stuck with negative friendships, because at least it was a friendship, and having friends is always good. And neither am I one of those “fairweather friends” who will leave a friend when s/he needs me most. And I stuck with the book because I was expecting it to become interesting at last with every page I turned. They couldn`t all be wrong!

If I think about all the hours, months and years I have wasted sticking with things which weren`t good for me… I better not.

There`s nothing wrong with letting go, as I prefer to call it. It makes space for things I`d rather do. It sheds  baggage. And it makes letting go easier for the future. As once you`ve done it once, you`ll be suprised how easy it is, how empowering even.

Still, it sometimes is a fine line…

to keep fighting or to stop wasting your time

Food Assembley

Monday is Food Assembley day. I only discovered this fairly recently when looking up a local manufacturer of Kombucha, who is selling there.
The food assembley is basically a food market, but you pre-order, pay online and have your things ready waiting for you when you come. It`s all local, small scale producers of things which are just that bit nicer than you would get from the supermarket – artisan bakery products and cheeses, homemade jams and the local organic veg people….
The best thing for the manufacturers is that they`re always going to know what they are going to sell so will never bring too much and too little, which must be fantastic for those selling perisheables such as bakery products! Pick up starts 6pm, and usually, the bread is and quiche are still warm when we get them!

Photo 04-09-2017, 19 42 11

(content of our organic veggie box, all local, £10.oo the lot!)

A Very Warm Welcome :-)

Due to bullying and stalking in my old blog, I have moved, and I am determined to make this a positive event!!

Please come over here to view the full post.

This blog is still under construction, and until it has got its own subscription options, you can keep up to date by subscribing to this blog here.

Thank you for your support. 🙂

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