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Varyag Memorial

While driving around in Scotland we kept seeing signs to a Varyag Memorial with Russian (saying presumably the same thing) underneath. After passing the signs many times we decided to go and take a look. The Varyag (кре́йсер “Варя́г”) was a Russian ship named after the Varangian Guard who went through some amazing times and eventually sank off the Ayrshire coast. The memorial is to remember the ship and the men who served on her. You can read a BBC article about the memorial here.

This Week

Maybe this shouldn’t be titled ‘this week’ but ‘recently’, I have been rather out of the loop. Lots of things have been happening and they have either been boring or non-bloggable. I’ve been working on getting some of the older posts I wrote for my previous blog up and in the right format as well as tweaking a few things with the structure of this blog. There has been a little bit more work than usual going on and I’m blogging about branding on my business website if anyone is interested in that one.

I have also been doing a lot of fudge making. This is not at all unusual however the different part is that I have been experimenting with new flavours. It has been suggested that I should look into selling the fudge that I make in a few places but before I even think about that I need to play around with amounts and flavours etc. So that has taken up a lot of time in both research and actually making the various batches. Fudge is tiring! More about this to follow soon.

I have mentioned that I am hopefully buying a house. It’s not a quick process and I’m not trying to push the vendors into moving faster than they want to. The last time I moved house it was a nightmare from start to finish and I really want this time to be better. I firmly believe that just because buying/selling a house is a business arrangement that doesn’t mean that you need to be cold and pushy about it. I love the house that we are talking about and I want it to become my home, I want the whole process to be as pain-free for both sides as possible. Plus the vendors are lovely people. If you’d like to see what sort of things will be going inside said house, or whichever place I do end up living, I have a dedicated board on Pinterest for it!

In other blog news I have been working on having a new regular bit on here that’s just fun for me. That will (hopefully) be starting next week on either Tuesday or Wednesday. I’ll promote it in the usual places once it’s online!

I’ve been writing loads of poetry as well but I still haven’t found a way of sharing it that doesn’t disqualify it from all competitions so for now I’ll be keeping that under my hat. Lots of classical references are going on at the moment though which is something that I love. If you’re very keen to read some poetry I blogged about a poem I have had included in the anthology ‘Dark Currents’.

I have signed up to 500px which is an absolutely brilliant photo sharing site. I have had niggling problems with a lot of the photo sites that I use and this one still has a few glitches but overall it’s great. Easy to upload (although you can’t rotate afterwards which is annoying) and great portfolio sites. There are lots of lovely people on board as well as a very cheap upgrade to unlimited uploads. It also has a store attached if you want to put your images up for sale.

As a consequence of everything that has been happening I have, very sadly, not even got any reading books to share with you. Mainly I’ve been reading cookery books. I currently have a pile almost as high as my head ready to be reviewed. I think there might even be two going online this week to keep up with them. I’ve also reviewed ‘Eat London 2’ on the Huff Post blog.

I shall now get back to the *very* long to-do list which is staring at me and try to get a little more of it ticked off before the new week begins.

Hope you are all keeping well,


I’ve got quite a collection of squirrel pictures now and being very undecided about what I wanted to put online I decided on squirrel pictures. Little bit odd perhaps but they are damned cute.


This Week

This week I started Kaz Mahoney’s SpringKazNo where I am going to attempt to write five poems each week. Yesterday I took the whole day off work and did very little other than write poetry and managed seven in one day so I have a total of nine for this week. It’s a good start but I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep it going!

I have read the first in a different series by Kate Ellis called ‘Seeking The Dead’, it was great and I liked how different it was from the Wesley Petersen series. I read a between-the-numbers Janet Evanovich novel called ‘Plum Spooky’, which was good but I didn’t enjoy as much as the ones in her series. I read the first Nicola Upson novel in her Josephine Tey series called ‘An Expert in Murder’ – I love Tey’s books and really did like this, I’ll be getting the second one as well, the twists were a bit contorted but the characters made up for it. I finally got around to reading a Clive Cussler and read ‘Pacific Vortex’ which is the first chronologically in the Dirk Pitt series. It’s exactly what I expected, with all the best and worst parts of thriller adventure writing but it was really well paced and set up the characters for the rest of the (very extensive) series. I’m so far behind on these ones that it’s actually proving quite hard to find them!

I reviewed ‘My Kind of Cooking’ by Mark Sargeant on the Huffington Post UK blog. I also created a complete list of all of the cookbook reviews that I have written since I started and that is now a static page on here.

My cousin has very kindly managed to ruin my productivity by letting me know about Stratocam. It’s deeply addictive if you like either photography or geography. I’ve already spent an hour on there.

The rest of today will be spent catching up on work, writing lots of emails, doing some marketing and answering emails. As long as I can stay away from the pretty pictures…



Now that I am not actively selling my arts and crafts items there is not a lot of use for the Flickr account I have attached to this website (and email etc.) but I don’t want to delete everything just yet in case I need the pictures to show people.

I do however have another Flickr account that is attached to my business and I thought I would flag it up in case people want to have a look at the better photographs that I take. There aren’t a lot on there at the moment but a few to have a look through.

Jackdaw 19 Flickr Account