Tag Archives: blogging

BlogOn Introduce Yourself – about me and why I go to Blogging conferences

Note to self: Don’t join a linkup then move to self hosted two days later – My fellow bloggers is there any chance you could comment on this post on my new site?  – BlogOn – Introduce yourself – and Why I go to blogging conferences/

In a couple of weeks (16th Sept), I’m off to a blogging conference run by the team at BlogOn (BlogOnuk.com) – it’s only down the road at Hotel Football, in Old Trafford, in Manchester – about three miles from my house.

I’d heard about these conferences which have been held twice a year since 2013 – everyone said how great it was.  I went to one of their Conferences in May; it was really well run and very useful.  I learnt so much that day, especially about Pinterest  It was lovely to meet people I’ve known on Twitter/ Instagram face to face too.

My highlight of the conference was hearing Jason Todd from the Art of Brilliance talking about positive psychology in life and work.  For example:

‘Every day is a Special Pants Day – Life’s too short. QUIT waiting for happiness’

This led me to attend their first Festival of Happiness in at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester in June.   They’re holding another Festival in Birmingham on 29 June 2019 – info.  I thoroughly recommend following them on twitter and attending their conferences.  Such a wonderful, optimistic and positive day.

 

*****

BlogOn – Sunday 16th September 2018 – 10-5pm, Hotel Football Manchester

I hear there are some tickets left – Ticket Information

It’s not just for parent bloggers either.  The goody bag was massive with loads of useful things.

Whether you’re a new blogger or been writing for years – There’s so much to gain from attending a blogging conference:

  • update your knowledge – technical topics, photography.
  • no need to be shy we are a friendly bunch…
  • opportunity to talk to relevant brands
  • and you never know what it might lead to…

More about me: 

We’ve been asked to write a bit about ourselves and link up… So here goes… You can also have read about other people attending the conference here

Continue reading

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On an adventure to BlogOn X

I’m planning on writing more this year, getting a shorter URL and I’ve got plenty of ideas for blog topics. More photos of flowers too. This weekend I’m off to a blogging conference run by the team at BlogOn (https//BlogOnuk.com) – it’s only down the road at Hotel Football, in Old Trafford, in Manchester – about three miles from my house. I’d seen bloggers taking about how well run, and useful, the conferences are, so I signed up. I wanted to learn some new skills, update my knowledge, especially about Pinterest, and maybe talk about collaborations. I’m very much looking forward to meeting some other bloggers face to face, that I know via Twitter and other social media. It’s always good to spend time with people who do a similar role to you, and have some fun.

If you’re coming to the conference come and say hello 🙂 I’m hoping I’m not a fish out of water.

We’ve been asked to write a bit about ourselves and link up… So here goes…

  • Share a recent photo of yourself

I’m Bec, I live in Monton in Eccles, which is in Salford in Lancashire. Monton is on the West of Greater Manchester, about six miles from the city centre; it’s leafy round here, with Worsley Woods, a couple of golf courses and the Bridgewater Canal is at the end of our street – we’ve got a good cafes, bars and restaurants around here and a growing number of street art bees.

I blog about flowers, gardening, wellbeing and our adventures out and about, usually in the Great Outdoors . I’m a Southerner originally, born in Berkshire. I’ve lived here for 20 years, visiting since 1989, so I’ve seen lots of changes around Manchester.

I’m definitely in my spiritual home among the friendly Northerners. Also, I know the correct words to use to order a bread role in any part of Greater Manchester. In Eccles its a barm 😉 I eat my chips with gravy, but never mushy peas (Devil’s work).

This is the first picture of me I’ve ever put on the blog. I feel like I should tell you I’m wearing a White Stuff dress, with Razzle Dazzle Irregular Choice shoes – Outfit of the Day and all that 😉 The photo was taken just before I headed out to my Hen Do afternoon tea last September.

  • What’s your favourite pizza topping?

Olives, anchovies, prosciutto, tomato, mozzarella on a super thin crust.

  • You can have dinner with any three guests dead or alive- who do you choose and why?

I could easily pick three gardeners, three historians, three chefs, three novelists, three adventures, three musicians, three scientists, the list could go on. But, I’ll confine myself to a group who’d have so much to discuss and share – Nigel Slater, Mary Beard and Charles Darwin.

  • Up to now what would you consider being your biggest life achievement?

I’ve raised alot of money for charities to research Motor Neurone Disease (because My Chap’s brother died aged 49 in 2017 from MND) and cancer (because lung cancer took my Dad 18 years ago when he was 70). In my day job, I’ve helped academics win millions in funding for research with patients in the NHS – just about any topic or disease you can think of. I’m proud I help people make a difference – and make the world a better place.

  • If you woke up tomorrow as a character from any Disney film or book who would you be and why?

I watched most of the classic Disney Films as a kid in the 1970s, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, Snow White, Lady and the Tramp, etc. My favourite is Jungle Book – I love the songs. I’ve never seen Bambi though.

However, since Disney bought the Star Wars franchise, I’m taking Leia at any age, as my character…

I was 11 in 1977 when Star Wars came out and I’d never seen a woman as the lead, a hero, in charge – it affected me deeply. The film was massive in the playground; I think I saw it three or four times that year. I was, and still am, a massive Star Wars and sci-fi geek. Wish I’d kept the light sabre though. In the recent films Leia, as a General, is only a decade or so older than me, so I hope I have her compassion, determination and wit.

Yoda and Pansies in the Spring Sunshine

    I have a special love for Yoda; he has appeared so many times in the blog he has his own Tag.

    • What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

    Stretch! Wiggle my toes and fingers. I have osteoarthritis in my fingers, toes and in my back, so I often wake up very stiff.

    • If you won the lottery what would be the very first thing you would buy and why?

    A round the world airline ticket for My Chap and I, to visit friends and family, watch some tennis, go to some gigs and walk on beaches. Then we’d come back to Manchester, pay off and do up our house and garden. We’d stay here, as we love Manchester, but we’d also love a house by the sea.

    • What is your favourite quote from a movie?

    ‘Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future’. Yoda

    • If you were a superhero what would your super power be?

    Time travel – not only because I love history – but it would mean I could visit people in a instant.

    • What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

    When I was a teenager, My Dad used to talk about ‘Things a Girl Should Know’, most were practical like how to open champagne, how to shake hands firmly, tie bow ties properly, change a tyre etc. He taught me to cook too, but that’s a whole other story.
    He told me to be true to myself, be kind, help people, when you can and say No to things you really don’t want to do.

    And to trust your gut.

    • Which emoji do you use the most?

    I’m absolutely bobbins at doing emojis, so I can only use three (typing the characters too) – 🙂 😉 😦

    • If you could go back in time and tell yourself anything what would it be?

    My Granny Dolly who was a country woman, a working class suffragette, dog breader, judge at Cruft and a terrible cook, said to use moisturiser every day. Her skin was amazing, even in her 80s, and I’m afraid I didnt take this advice. I realised the error when I turned 40 and have mostly remembered the moisturiser since then.

    • What do you currently have set as the wallpaper on your phone?

    This is the bay at Flinders, on the Mornington Peninsula, just south of Melbourne. My Australian family live here some of the time. Flinders is a village, with a General Store, one pub and a few coffee shops – it’s a peaceful, sleepy and relaxed place. I love it there.

    • If you could do anything in the world as a legitimate job what would you do?

    Be a guide around one of the great gardens, photographing people, places and plants – sharing and tweeting too.

    • Where is your favourite place in the world?

    I don’t have one favourite place – I guess mine is more about what places make me feel – a state of mind. Contentment, peace, relaxed but it would definitely have beautiful flowers.

    And now to see if I can add the link button without a laptop. It broke on Monday so I’m using the tablet at the moment (TMI probably). Oops I chopped my head of on the link box.

    Do have a look at the BlogOn X – linky for more blog and bloggers 🙂 I’ve found some new ones to follow.

    Any thing I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments.

    But, in the meantime, remember Life isn’t a dress rehearsal.

    Carpe Diem

    Love Bec xx

    Happiness – one week and five things that helped #1

    ‘The human mind always makes progress, but it is progress in spirals’
    Madame De Stael (1766-1817), a woman of letters, at the heart of European romanticism and a leading opponent of Napoleon.

    This year has been very tough, I’m not ready to go into details at the moment, but I’m beyond fortunate to have my family and friends around the world, supporting us all – but most of all My Chap whose been my rock since the day we met.  Im SO excited to be marrying him later this year.

    My health hasn’t been great, including much increased arthritis pain too, contributing to bad sleeping and chronic exhaustion; but I’m working on all sorts of strategies to help me.  I am grateful to everyone who supports me, the NHS staff, colleagues, friends and family – I’d be in a pickle without them.

    Amongst these tough times, there has been times of happiness, things and people that have made me happy. As part of my mindfulness practise, I’ve been noting them down, more systematically, in my diary.

    I’d been thinking for a while that I’d like to start writing a regular post about what I’ve  been grateful for and/or what’s make me happy.  I was inspired by:

    They’re great ladies – one I’ve known for years in real life too (first in Manchester and now she lives in Worcester) and the other lives round the corner from me – though we’ve not yet met face to face. That’s the Internet for you – hopefully we’ll meet up soon.  They write thought-provoking blogs, touching on wide ranging topics including feminism, life with a chronic pain condition, running, the outdoors, food, cooking, life in Manchester and the West Midlands – many adventures and plenty of gin 🙂

    1. Journals – gratitude, health notes and ‘to do’ lists

    7 May 2017 – stigu journal, calm journal and ‘to do today and tomorrow’

    I love my Stigu Planner*** (http://sticktostigu.com/);  it’s a combination of a diary, note book and to do lists. They describe it as a rest and zest handbook – there are themes for each month, weekly practise activities – some of them are really funny cartoons. I had a stigu journal last year too – it’s not too ‘full on’, supporting my wellbeing, without being all about ‘rules’.

    The Calm Book – calm the mind, change the world*** is great for suggestions on Nature, Sleep, Travel, Work, Creativity, Relationships, Food  (www.calm.com), with affirmations and visualisations (there’s an app too).  The daily questions are:

    • What made you feel calm Today?
    • What are you grateful For?
    • What were three highlights of today?

    It’s so beautiful with wonderful illustrations and pictures; I can’t write in the book – I tend to write in my stigu journal instead.

    For well over a year, I’ve been making a note of my arthritis and pain symptoms, as participant in Cloudy with a Chance of Pain, (www.cloudywithachanceofpain.com); it’s a citizen science project run by the University of Manchester investigating if there’s a connection between weather conditions and chronic pain.  For me, warm, dry weather definitely helps my arthritis pain; I’ve been tracking it with an app as part of the project.  I’m looking forward to reading the wider results.

    Also, I’ve been doing daily mindfulness practise for a couple of years now, and reflecting on what I’m grateful for each day – so I’ve decided to be a bit more organised about writing them down, so I can look back in the future, as my situation improves.

    I’m grateful for all these things these things, and yoga too.

    2. The Garden (and Gardening) 

    Hand with two rings with mud under fingernails, sedums in background

    7 May 2017 – been replanting sedums for My Chap – mud under the fingers as usual.

    I managed to get out in the garden every day this week, sometimes it was for only half an hour to water the plants. It’s been v windy and dry here.  We’ve managed to sort out, cut back and clear alot of the ‘dead wood’ from the winter. We’ve planted some shrubs too.  Ive written before how my garden is my solace; I know I ‘need’ to spend as much time as I can outside – even if it’s just drinking tea in the garden – when I’m too exhausted to do anything more.  I’ve been planning which flowers to cut for next week’s In a Vase on Monday too.

    • A summary of my ‘In a Vase on Monday’ offerings since 2015.
    • Cathy hosts the meme over at Rambling in the Garden – here’s her summary. Each post will have links to people (and their vases) contributing from all around the world.

    3. Afternoon Tea with a pal 

    Cakes sandwiches on a three tier vintage China cake stand

    7 May 2017 – Afternoon tea at Vintage Ambience, Monton, Salford

    I spent a lovely afternoon with my friend, and her beautiful baby girl, we talked about life, the universe and everything – wedding planning too. I met her at Cottonopolis Women’s Institute (www.cottonopoliswi.com) She’s wise and kind,  much more crafty than me, and makes great cakes too. The afternoon tea at Vintage Ambience*** in Monton was top notch (www.vintageambiance.co.uk)

    4. Smoked Salmon Salad

    7 May 2017 – smoked salmon salad in the garden


    It was a bank holiday weekend here in the UK , and, the weather was lovely, so we had lunch in the garden everyday. My Chap is a great cook, and makes a great salad – this one had lovely heritage tomatoes too. My Chap and I talked about what what veg we might grow in the garden this year; cherry tomatoes haven’t grown well these last few years, we don’t have a greenhouse, so I don’t think this helps.

    The smoked salmon reminded me of all the men in my life who’ve loved it. My Uncle Fred introduced me to it when I was about 18 months old. He, my Aunt, and my Dad grew up in Hackney in East London before, and during, Second World War with many Jewish neighbours so it was a staple food for them.  My love of cooking comes from them, I feel their influence and love every day, even though they’ve all passed on a good few years ago.

    5. Wedding Planning 

    7 May 2017 – wedding countdown website

    We’ve been trundling on with our plans – we’ve spoken to our friend about invitations, I’ve met my dress designers, bridesmaids dresses are on track and we are meeting our florist soon too. Our photographer is great too and every time we go to our venue, we love it even more, they make luscious cake too.  Ours is going to be an unconventional wedding – just the way we want it.  My Chap is doing so much of the arrangements as I’m under the weather, it’s a team effort – Roll on September 🙂

    The quote from Madam De Stael, was in my Stigu Journal, reading about her reminded me, we must persist. As Stigu notes elsewhere , life moves in spirals, only you can decide in which direction.  I’m  moving in the right direction… Slowly but getting there.

    What have you been grateful for this week? 

    Carpe Diem

    Love Bec

    xxx

    I’ve mentioned activities in Friday 28 April to Thursday 4th May 2017
    ***Please note: I paid full price for both journals and afternoon tea, I wasn’t asked to write a positive review.

    Happy 1st Birthday – views from my garden bench

    Time moves in one direction, memory in another

    William Gibson (novelist) b 1947

    I won’t ever forget 2015 – the most physically and mentally demanding year of my life – it all changed in late April when my friend died.  I have so many good memories from our adventures together over 25 years – we remained friends to the end.  I’m glad he and my Chap were good pals too.

    All that happened last year stretched my resilence to its limit, but I’ve come through the other side.  It’s reminded me to stick to my principles, take care of myself and that there’s always a way forward, even if it’s tiny steps.   Counselling, mindfulness, tai chi, yoga, and walking in the great outdoors, espccially time in my garden, have all helped me top up my resilence.   My Chap, my family, and my friends all helped too. It’s a long and complicated journey to recovery but I’ll get there.

    I started my blog a year ago today – here’s my first post  – much of what I said I’d write about is still just as relevant now:

    • where we visit – I love history as well as time in the garden
    • what’s been happening in our lives
    • cooking and crafting too
    • my thoughts and dreams for the future
    • many pictures of the garden, plants, flowers and the veg plot.
    • And maybe, just maybe, some campervan adventures…(well that didn’t happen – the campervan went on its way in July 2015)

    William Ford Gibson coined the team ‘cyberspace’ in 1984 and wrote about the principles that govern how something like the world wide web might operate.   Tim Burners Lee ‘invented’ the internet in 1989 (at CERN).  Cyberspace has given me so much over the years, I’ve worked with academics, since the early 1990s so I was an ‘early adopter’ of email and the www – I’m fortunate.  Most of all the web has given me ways to stay in touch with my friends and make new ones – and I met my Chap on an internet dating site five years ago.

    Alot of the time last year, I’ve really struggled to write, which is a bit of an issue when I write for a living.  But my blog has helped as I can write about things I love.   I’ve found a lovely, friendly and helpful blogging community too – especially all the gardening bloggers.   I’m still an amateur gardener compared to most of them but that doesn’t matter.

    I’ve joined a few topics which have helped me in the dark times:

    • In a Vase on a Monday

    I’ve really enjoyed contributing to ‘In a Vase on Monday’ hosted by Cathy from ‘Rambling in the Garden‘ which involves picking flowers and plants from your garden or the local area and putting them in a vase.   Sounds simple doesn’t it? It is – so do join in.

    I love looking at everyones vases, from across the world.  It’s given me so many ideas what to plant in my garden too. The flowers and vases have lifted my spirits in the dark times.
    Most of all, everyone is so lovely, friendly and supportive.  I’m going to try to comment more this year on people’s vases.  I’ve appreciated every single comment on my vases, and I hope my vases and flowers have lifted someones mood too.

    in a vase in monday

    In a vase on Monday

    See more of my Vases – 2015

    • #100happydays

    The #100happydays challenge has helped me look for positive things every day, even when I’m having an exhausting day. My favourite part of the 100happydays challenge was writing about Lisbon – a wonderful city which I know we’ll visit again.

    lisbon guide (6/100), fish stew (7/100), tram (8/100), wine at the castle (9/100) #100happydays

    lisbon guide (6/100), fish stew (7/100), tram (8/100), wine at the castle (9/100) #100happydays

    Castle de Pena (10/100), don't panic (11/100), funicular railway (12/100), bed rest (13/100)

    Castle de Pena (10/100), don’t panic (11/100), funicular railway (12/100), bed rest (13/100) #100happydays

    I’m a bit stuck with my updates from December for #100happydays  at the moment – as 7th December was a very, very tough day but I got through it.  And frankly, I was glad to see the back of 2015.   You can catch up with more of my #100happydays photos here

    Life IS better in the Garden
    My garden continues to be my solace.  I know it, my pals and family, but most of all my wonderful Chap will help me get to where I want to be.

    yoda in the snow and plaque Life's better in the Garden - copyright R Jones 2016

    yoda in the snow – Life IS better in the Garden taken 17 January 2016

    I think yoda will be making a few more apprearances in 2016 too…

    Happy 1st Birthday Cottonopolis Women’s Institute – January 2015

    I’m a proud member; I’ve tried so many new things this year, met lots of new pals and had fun too.    I’m going to write more about my WI adventures in 2016 too.  If you’re local join us… if not have a look for a local group.  There are Men’s Sheds too.

    #100happydays for 2016 from Coed-y-brenin mountain bike centre

    #100happydays for 2016 from Coed-y-brenin mountain bike centre

    Blogging in 2016… Carry on carrying on

    There’s alot of changes ahead at work but I’m going to try to look for opportunities, be positive and try to make a difference – and give everything including my blog, my best efforts – as I continue my recovery.  In 2016 my blog will cover:

    • where we visit – I love history as well as gardening
    • what’s been happening in our lives – we’ve got a holiday planned in Cornwall in May
    • more cooking and ‘crap’ crafting too.
    • my thoughts and dreams for the future – and to be braver!
    • more  pictures of the garden, plants, flowers and the veg plot
    • yoda
    • This year I promise to write a bit more often, improve my photography skills, answer ALL my blog comments but most of all ‘Have fun blogging

    Thank you to everyone who’s read or commented on my blog – I appreciate it more than I can say = I’m still surprised where you all come from.

    I hope you’ll all tag along with me – Life’s an adventure – Live it

    And I’ll be ‘seizing the day’ this year for definite, once I can find some more energy…

    Offically Spring is around the corner (even though the daffodils and crocuses are already flowering)

    Love

    Bec xx