We’re All Gifted, We Just Unwrap Our Packages At Different Times

Hello friends, it’s been a while. This past month well real life has taken over, I even had my bestie for a visit and her new-found hobby of roller skating was the focus for a week; but that really is a story for another day.

Sadly these days I’m up at 5am to start work and return to be carer, gardener, scrubber, shopper extraordinaire. I don’t get to spend as much time blogging as I would like but I think of you all often but ironically when we’re up against it, the thing we enjoy the most tends to be the thing which is sidelined. I’d love to keep up with you all so you can find me on either Twitter or Facebook. My other announcement is that I have started serialising “The Honeymoon Stories” on Wattpad. It’s still early days and I certainly couldn’t have done it without two years of support and encouragement from the best bloggers in the world (you might want to check out the dedication on Chapter One)

As I’m late to the Wattpad party, I would be happy to hear from any of you that are frequent users and have any tips or suggestions for me.

So signing off for now but I hope you all find time to do what makes you happy this weekend.

With fondest thoughts and a grateful heart, your blogging friend Dallas

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Fifty Sheds of Grey

Now it’s safe to say that my Dad is an old-fashioned gentleman, he opens doors for ladies and still stands whenever one enters the room. He would never say anything inappropriate and I’ve never heard him swear; of course, me and my sister more than compensate for my parents’ self-restraint in the expletive department.

Some time ago one of my friends kindly loaned me, and by default my sister, the Fifty Shades Trilogy; if I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again if I had nits, my sister would want them! My sibling enjoyed the books, me not so much.

Now my dad is one of those strange souls who frequently strikes up conversations with complete strangers; in fact, he could so often be mistaken for the “nutter on the bus”. You know the one that gets on and sits next to you despite every other seat being available. So it was inevitable that when he was stood in line at a supermarket checkout behind a young woman who was waiting to pay for the Fifty Shades trilogy, he remarked to her that his daughters had the same books and wondered why they were so popular. In fairness to my Dad, he probably thought that they were the same genre as the James Patterson novels that we both enjoy so much. He would have been mortified to discover that he was in actual fact, discussing the latest in “mummy porn”. My Dad had been raised in a strict Irish Catholic environment in the St James district of Leeds, peppered with lots of Hellfire & Damnation and where my late Grandma, God love her, would change television channels should a Playtex bra commercial air whilst any men were present.

I can’t imagine what this young woman was thinking as my pensioner Dad casually chatted with her about her choice of fiction. Fortunately, she didn’t run screaming from the store and my Dad wasn’t detained by security. However, this is one conversation with my Dad that I’m going to be leaving to my more forthright sister.

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A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.

I must have been in the third year of High School when I first noticed Miss Crute, mainly because I had been assigned to her English Literature class for the next term. She was all of five feet three inches high swamped by the black teacher’s gown that all teachers wore at the all-girl grammar school which I attended. She was softly spoken and walked with a quiet dignity, always modelling an outdated beehive and pince-nez spectacles. I couldn’t help but notice as I passed her classes that all students would sit quietly and attentively whilst she spoke and I assumed that was because she was one tough old harridan like many of the other teachers. Consequently, I dreaded the day when I would too be sitting to attention alongside all my classmates listening to yet another mind-numbing lecture.

The very first morning, I slunk into her class and claimed one of the desks at the rear whilst awaiting the hellion herself. As we all made to stand she gestured for us to remain seated before what I came to discover was her usual soft-spoken greeting of “Good Morning Ladies”.

She opened the pages of “To Kill a Mocking Bird” and started to read aloud. In the stillness you could have heard a pin drop and for that short time we all became a captivated audience in the world of Atticus, Scout and Jem. When she stopped reading, it was like a magic spell was broken and we’d all woken up but what followed that and every other reading was a frank and lively discussion of the characters and plot. Unlike many of the other teachers, she actually asked us what we thought and suggested that we put ourselves in that situation; would we too have been as charitable and as fair as Atticus. Thereafter, the week couldn’t pass quick enough until I was back in that classroom listening to Wuthering Heights, Tess of the d’Urbervilles or Great Expectations.

Of course, I never realised it at the time but this gifted teacher was sharing more with us that just an admiration of literature. It was only years later, that I understood that the lessons learned in that dusty old classroom were far more important than just a mutual love of books.

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
Albert Einstein

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Picture kindly provided by the talented Rhonda at 50 Shades of Gray Hair