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New year, new stationery

New year, new stationery

As a writer, new stationery is always welcome. As much as possible, I like to buy sustainable stationery, dairies and notebooks that either support charities, local artisans or are eco-friendly and Fairtrade. Surprisingly, this is often inexpensive and can be much better value than buying mainstream. Living vibrantly calendar This year, I decided to kick-start the year with a beautifully painted calendar by Bristol-based artist, Fleur Barnfather. Each month comes with a stunning copy of one of Fleur’s paintings, an…

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Morning writing; setting yourself up for a great day

Morning writing; setting yourself up for a great day

Over the past nine months, I’ve been experimenting with morning writing. It’s not the first time I’ve used this style of writing, which is sometimes referred to as free flow or unconscious writing. However, this year my morning writing has taken a different course. For years, I have used writing as a technique to rant and get rid of stress and negative emotions without upsetting anyone else. I’ve also written to clarify my thoughts when I have needed to make…

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Why I love using Local Writers and Bloggers to Emphasise Learning Points

Why I love using Local Writers and Bloggers to Emphasise Learning Points

Like many other areas, Bristol is blessed with lots of talented and competent writers to choose from. So, this week to inspire participants on the Develop Your Writing Skills course, we looked at blogging techniques through the work of local bloggers, writers and authors in Bristol. The learning The learning outcome for this session was to identify different types of blog posts and articles as part of the overall outcome of writing one. Explaining to participants how to write different…

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From Me to You – letter writing with a difference

From Me to You – letter writing with a difference

Alison and Brian, the facilitators for the workshop From Me to You, got stuck in Bristol’s infamous traffic congestion on the way to the venue. While that may have sent many in to states of anger, impatience or nerves, Alison and Brian arrived with an air of serenity about them that made it difficult to believe they had actually crossed Bristol in rush hour. I was struck by the aura of contentment and peacefulness that surrounded them throughout the workshop….

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Writing tips: Freedom, Vanilla, Customers and Story: 4 things that changed my perspective on branding for my blog

Writing tips: Freedom, Vanilla, Customers and Story: 4 things that changed my perspective on branding for my blog

  Over the last few years, whilst being self-employed, I have struggled with building a client profile and in the process, I’ve become allergic to the word “niche”. I don’t know how many times I’ve wished it would go out of fashion. It’s not that I don’t understand the concepts. I totally get it. As a teacher, I specialised in my subjects with learners coming to me to gain the skills required to pass specific examinations. I just couldn’t apply…

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Five reasons to choose Backwell House as the perfect writing retreat venue

Five reasons to choose Backwell House as the perfect writing retreat venue

This summer I was invited to spend an evening at Backwell House boutique hotel near Bristol with the Bristol Bloggers group.  I was keen to visit this nine-bedroom country house hotel, featured in the magazine Great British and Irish hotels 2017-18, as clients often ask me to recommend a retreat venue. My first impression, after spotting Backwell House from the woodland driveway, was that I was in for a treat. We had an amazing evening at the event and here are five reasons…

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Five reasons to choose Apartamentos Sierra Alta as your retreat venue in Andalucia

Five reasons to choose Apartamentos Sierra Alta as your retreat venue in Andalucia

Five reasons to choose Apartamentos Sierra Alta as a venue for your retreat Nestled in the beautiful backdrop of the Sierra de Cadiz mountain range in Andalucia, our friends and family have been staying in these wonderful apartments since 2013. Since 2014 we have been hosting our annual writing retreat here. We really love these apartments and not just for the quality of the accommodation – there’s something special about the surroundings too. Here are five reasons why I think…

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My big hairy avocado goal: setting goals for writing and blogging

My big hairy avocado goal: setting goals for writing and blogging

When I first saw a local workshop on goals advertised as ‘a half way through the year review session’, I realised with a surprise that the year was almost half way through and I still hadn’t achieved many of my goals as a writer. It’s easy to go off track and get caught up in the other things going on life. So, I signed up for the workshop realising that this could be an opportunity to recover my motivation. One…

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Love and literacy: Book Day in Spain

Love and literacy: Book Day in Spain

Follow my blog with Bloglovin For book lovers and writers in Spain, April 23rd, World Book and Copyright Day, is characterised by an expression of love. A book and a rose are given as presents to loved ones to celebrate El Dia del Libro (Book Day) all over the country. Originally started in Barcelona, in the 1920s, by the writer Vicente Clavel, Book Day later went on to become declared World Book and Copyright Day by UNESCO. Clavel, who lived in…

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When leather meets the art of Pepe and Isabel

When leather meets the art of Pepe and Isabel

As I sit here writing this I am looking out at the mountain range. A cool breeze is blowing in through the open window. The fig tree below is slowly growing up towards the second floor of the house. I hear the background noise of people on their way home for lunch, a car stopping to drop someone off, a door closing, a voice across the road. And then, it’s back to silence. Creating works of art with leather This…

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