Ten Happy Things

For today’s Blogtober post I wanted to share some simple things that never fail to make me smile. After yesterday being a bit full on I definitely need a pick me up. I wonder what brings a smile to your face.

Cats are so sweet.

1) Cats. Just seeing a cat always calms me down. As I drove home today I saw several prowling around. Currently I don’t have one but cats have been a pet of choice in the past and I have fond memories of a moggy I had when I was little.

2) Rainbows. They always seem to brighten things up, usually after a dramatic rain storm.

3) The Sound of Music. If I see it coming on telly I find myself putting down whatever I am doing and being drawn into the Von Trapp family singalong.

4) Chocolate. I buy one big fruit and nut chocolate bar every week and break a bit off every day after work. Nothing beats that soothing taste.

5) A winter bath. This one is obvious. Who doesn’t love a soak on a frosty day?

6) Milkshake. Any kind, made from ice cream and cheap and cheerful from the supermarket.

7) Good books. If I am feeling serious I read non-fiction and if I feel like drama I have plenty of novels to turn to.

8) A cardio workout. Whether it’s aerobics or dancing, spinning or HIIT workouts, I always feel so much better after making the effort.

9) Anything Disney. I really want to explore Disneyland Paris more as have only been there once.

10) My friends and colleagues. So many of my closest friends are funny and entertaining. They rarely fail to make me laugh.

If you enjoyed this post please consider following my blog. I hope you are loving Blogtober as much as I am.

Snow Chance – My Book Extract

Today I was thinking about colder weather and decided that I would share one the of the first short stories I published, which is now in my little Kindled Unlimited book, ‘Short Dates’.

AFF- There is an affiliate link within this article for which I would get a kickback if you chose to buy.

As the 8:40 bus disappeared into the distance, I knew that I was without any alternative. I had to run to University if I stood any chance of getting there in time for my lecture. Mark had shown me a short cut once and today was my chance to try it. The only thing making it difficult was the fact that the ground was covered with half -melted snow. The white sludge had moments of darkness which I suspected might be black ice. I hoped that an awkward slip didn’t finish me off, especially as I had already missed this lecture three times this semester and I really could not get into trouble. The thought of a painful injury was also unappealing.


As I swung round the corner, passing the newsagents, I noticed that the bad weather filled the newspaper adverts. ‘Worst winter in ten years!’ and ‘UK at a standstill due to icy blanket’ were the types of hype that this bad spell had been attracting. Right now, I began to wonder why Uni was even open today. After all, the local schools had opted for a snow day and lecturers seemed like the types to appreciate time off. Plus, there was more snow forecasted. I guess the fact that I had a submission deadline today was adding to my torment. Midday was the cut off for my essay about Soil formation. Oh what an exciting night I had had looking up synopses about how soil accrues when rocks deplete and weathering takes on natural materials. I was meant to give in the essay before my lecture as I had three hour-long sessions in a row and there was some distance between the lecture hall and the handing in room.


Anyway, I went for it, brushing against a guy who was stood right in the middle of the path, trying to take a snow selfie. I think I definitely photobombed his shot but he did not realise until I was already long gone. I heard him shout, ‘Oi!’ moments later, in a disgruntled yell. Facing forwards, I carried on, crossing the road and nipping through the park. My mind returned to thinking about that credit card bill. I needed to get a few more extra shifts in at Waitrose if I was ever going to bring my balance down. Maybe I could see if they had any shifts tonight. The trouble was, the more work I did for them, the less energy I had for Uni. But an Ibiza holiday was calling and so I knew my card would take a massive hit when I finally booked up. I sighed out loud as I slid slightly, crossing the slushy grass, trying to shave yet more seconds off my journey.


Only now did I realise that I was drastically out of breath. My chest was heaving and a painful stitch had grasped my body, causing me to stop for a moment, leaning forward to suck in the wintry air, seemingly anaesthetising my mouth each time I inhaled sharply. A random dog sniffed at my shoes as I leaned there, prompting myself to get a move on and take off again. My legs seemed weighted down suddenly, but perhaps this was due to the layer of heavy snow engulfing the grass and attempting to infiltrate my shoes, wetting my feet. It came to my attention that this park was pretty much untouched by human tracks this morning and there was hardly anyone around.

For another extract from the book ‘Short Dates’ click here.

Support Environmental Education

After writing my article about the importance of teaching about Climate Change in schools, I have now started a petition to parliament.

My recommendation is for Environmental Education to be compulsory in all schools. I also think that it should be a distinct subject rather than covered in dribs and drabs under the guise of Science and Geography.

I would really appreciate it if anyone can help to get the ball rolling by signing the parliamentary petition below.


Thank you for taking time to consider this. I feel so passionately about young people being fully educated in the scope and scale of this international problem.