Serenity – My Idea of Heaven

I think the closest I’ve been to Serenity, is when my Philosophy Class and I visited Tuscany a few years ago. I’ll never forget the Independence House we lived in, in the hills near Lucca. It has to be one of the most peaceful, serene and beautiful experiences I’ve ever had. The scenery from the hills was stunning, you could ‘hear’ the silence. In the morning we would meditate, then have breakfast. If you were an early bird, you could practice Yoga before the meditation, I didn’t quite make that but it was a lovely start to the day. We visited the ancient mountain village of Volterra, with it’s rustic beauty, San Gimignano an ancient medieval town (which bears a striking resemblance to the streets in the Pinnochio film), and the stunning towns of Lucca, Siena and Florence. As you can imagine, the warm October days spent in stunning cathedrals/museums left us

Serenity - A Glass of Red and this view - Ahh! Chillax :)

Serenity – A Glass of Red and this view – Ahh! Chillax πŸ™‚Β 

over-awed and in just the right mood for savouring the local pasta’s and delectable wines.

In Lucca we attended a ‘mini’ Puccini concert with a taste of his most famous opera’s. It was truly amazing ❀

The days we spent in the Independence House and substantial gardens were magical.Every day at mid-day the Cathedral bell would ring. A single peal at intervals for a couple of minutes reverberated through the town and surrounding hills. I remember sitting in the garden, looking out over rolling hills and cypress trees and thinking; if ever I imagined what heaven would be like – this must be pretty close to it. Ah Serenity at it’s best!

Oh and the Ice-Cream was amazing too! πŸ™‚

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Inspired by the Neighbours – Blogging 101

Well today we were to comment on and link to a blog we connected to yesterday. That was difficult – having to choose only one which inspired me, but the one I finally decided on was this one:

http://annettebennett.com/

Annette inspired me with her use of watercolours and the lovely animals she’s drawn. They seem to come alive on the page with a wise, thoughtful expression or as she calls it the Art-itude she gives them. It’s a lovely site and the paintings are beautiful. I’m aiming to be a regular visitor there, and a lot of the others I’ve found, which I’ve been inspired by too, but I’m sure you’ll love Annette’s. Her website page says: ‘Farm Animals with A Watercolour Art-itude’, and they certainly do have that. I thinks it’s a really original idea – to paint farmyard animals in stunning watercolours.

I wanted to paint so I took the subject at school. I knew I wasn’t any good when the teacher studied a painting I’d done, then took me to the side and asked, “Why are you here? Why did you choose Art?” I tell you I was crushed. Wasn’t it plainly obvious why I had chosen Art? Because I LURVED ❀ ❀ him with all of my 15 year old heart and hormones.To think that he didn’t realise how big a crush I had on him, was disappointing. So all those little smirks he gave me weren’t because he secretly liked me too, they were because he thought my drawings were funny; smirk-worthy funny! I happened to like all the matchstick men, women and dogs I drew. They had a certain, well, simplicity to them. He didn’t believe me when I said probably some of the best painters started off drawing matchstick men. He said, “Yeah, maybe when they were 4 or 5 but you’re nearly 16,” Okay, so I was a late developer. I think matchstick figures have a certain elegance to them…a simplicity (just like me?) Let me know what (or who) inspired you, and why πŸ™‚

Say Hello To The Neighbours – I’ve been visiting!!

Yesterday’s challenge was to visit our blogging neighbours and boy what a day I had. I’ve been all over the world (in blogs, of course). There are so many incredible blogs out there, I’m having myself a ball. But I can’t just write four of them, so I’m going to add another one or two to them.

I think this has been a very important assignment, encouraging people to comment on other blogs, which is really what every blogger needs, it can get kinda lonely out there in blogosphere, so I loved putting on my Sunday coat, hat and gloves and stopping off at my blogging neighbours for a chinwag. Some were making the most delicious food, others were whizzing up amazing smoothies, some wrote poetry that brought a little tear to my eye, some told happy stories and some painted the most prettiest paintings of cute Cows (moo, moos to you), in fabulous watercolours. Yet others philosophised about life in general or even told stories about their day to day lives. I’ve been enriched and it’s encouraged me to visit more often – so watch out I could be dropping in to your place for a good old fashioned blether (chat)!! Have a great day πŸ™‚

Here are the amazing blogs I visited and had a chinwag with:

https://simplyhaynes.wordpress.com/

annettebennett.com/

http://siobhanbamber.com/

https://authorsbmazing.wordpress.com/

https://noplainjanie.wordpress.com/

https://bookreviews1966.wordpress.com/

http://icaspar.net/

Keep Personalising – Blogging 101

Hi Folks, Felt quite relieved this morning when I noticed what the assignment for today was – personalise your blog with headers and widgets. I had already changed my header so thought easy peasy, a couple of widgets to add and I’m laughing. Well…that wasn’t the case. I tried and tried to put all the follow buttons for social media on each post. Easy enough?? I’m afraid not. Okay, I thought, I’ll do something really simple – I’ll put some new categories on my menu…did it and pressed to publish and……..Nothing!!

It’s showing up in my stats as sharing but not on my site. Maybe it just takes time to show up. Anyway, I thought, I’ll add some Cheezy Choons to cheer you all up, some real good blasts from the past, you know – all the songs from Bridget Jones’ Diary (well I did call it Cheezy!) and all I got was a title.

Anyway two bars of chocolate, a trim of my moustache and a large glass of wine later, it doesn’t seem to matter as much. I’m still proud of my blog – but damn it, I want those widgets so badly.

If at first you don’t succeed, have some more choccy and head off to bed! Goodnight Folks πŸ™‚

Changed my ‘About’ Page – Blogging 101

Today’s challenge was to update my About page, and am pleased to say, that I’ve completed it. I had some info already in place so I’ve just added to it and changed my Avatar photo, so I think it’s looking good. Who would’ve believed there is so much to learn. I didn’t know much about any of these challenges we’ve undertaken – sure I knew the basics, but learning how to do everything is just so amazing.

Hope you like what I’ve done. I added a few things that were important factors in my decision to take up writing. I left them out thinking that to mention them was being a bit show-offy, but if truth be known, there’s no point in hiding our light under a bushel.

I was going to put up a picture of Kate Beckinsale as my Avatar, but thought I better not, in case anyone who knows her tells her I’m her dopple! So instead I’ve put a photo of my cat Charlie, who is a real ‘Bah Humbug’ kinda cat. If you knew the pains I’d gone through to get a photo of him in his Santa hat. Okay it may be 3 weeks too late, but I’ve been trying since November. The best he would do up until two nights ago was attempt to get into and pose in a Christmas gift bag. He enjoys squeezing into bags of all sizes, forgetting that he is a cat with ample love handles, and needs a really big bag to squash into.

Anyway, he loves his new photo and the treats it’s brought him, and I love my new ‘About’ page – all’s happy in the Allychat family – the calm after the storm πŸ™‚

Love Your Theme – Blogging 101

I’ve always wanted to change my theme but didn’t know how, but today I learned how easy it is to change my theme. I quite liked the one I already had but it was a bit plain, this one is a bit more colourful and I think I like it.

I don’t quite love it yet, but I’m sure that will come. I’ve still to poke around and find out how to add widgets and social media buttons, so I’ll do that over the weekend.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could change the theme of our lives as easily, finding ourselves in a bit of a fuddle after making the wrong decision and not liking the outcome we have to live with, we could just click a button and change it. Nice!

We could up the tempo if life was too quiet and uneventful, or bring in some blue to turn it down and chill a bit when it’s too hectic. We could add a ❀ widget when we need more love, or a ‘remove’ button when we’ve had enough of someone – or better a ‘freeze’ button so we could get some peace and quiet.to watch our favourite programme without interruption. Phew, I’m getting carried away with myself…but it would be nice, wouldn’t it?

https:/allychat.wordpress.com/post/6204044/50

Assignment 3 – Saying Hello to the Neighbours – Blogging 101

I thought this would be a difficult task but it’s been a fruitful one. There are so many clever blogs out there, I’ve spent nearly all day reading them, and made quite a few comments and followed 5 or more, so I’m pleased with myself.

I’ve learned so much from people’s blogs too. I’ve seen super healthy recipe’s, learned when it’s ok to use adjectives/adverbs, read about the reject letters that famous, successful writers got when they tried to get published (this inspired me to keep trying), reviews on super new makeup’s, laughed out loud at some fun posts and just reading other bloggers posts for today’s Blogging 101 assignment.

Although it’s late I have to catch up with all the chores I didn’t get done today – seriously if I could afford a cleaner, I would be reading, commenting and blogging all day. I wonder if that’s an acceptable goal for the future? Hmm…possibility if I win the lottery! Or become a best selling author, or write that chart topping song…

I’ve had a great time and I’ve gained some followers and recieved some comments – all of which are very welcome indeed. I’m enjoying the assignments for Blogging 101 and feel, at last, I’m learning about blogging.

Good luck to everyone doing the 101.

Here is link for Assignment 3:Β https://wordpress.com/post/6204044/40

Blogging 101, Assignment 2 – Say Your Name

I chose my blog name “Allychat” because my name is Ally and I love to chat. What I’m hoping to do here is to chat with others who are doing interesting things in their lives (hobbies etc). I love to write and read and chat about these things, so welcome people who share these subjects. I also like to write stories, articles and random blogs about life in general. I love a bit of humour too, so try to keep my posts light-hearted most of the time. I love anything to do with writing from tips to frustrations and love to know how others are coping or learning through their writing trials.

I also welcome feedback on any of the stories and articles I write. I must admit that most of my articles have been about alternative health and beauty, because that’s my day job folks!

So I’m not sure I want to change my blog’s name but I will try to add a tag, not sure what, maybe something like: Allychat: Writing With the Stabilisers On. I’m still trying different names out and figuring out what might describe what it’s about, so hopefully before the day’s end I’ll come up with something.

Good luck to my fellow 101’s, Let us keep rising to the challenge! πŸ™‚ x

Here’s the link to the post folks:Β https://wordpress.com/post/6204044/30

Update – Ive changed my tag to: The Rues of A Muse πŸ™‚

Blogging 101 – I’m taking the challenge!

I’m beginning 2015 with the challenge of learning to blog. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for years but always found excuses to put it off – but 2015 is going to be different! No more procrastination, this is the year for getting things done – grabbing the bull by the horns – facing up to challenges and so on…

I decided to start a blog because I love to write (blog posts, short stories, articles, jokes, philosophising about life in general and generally just having a good old chat with everyone else who shares my love of words written or otherwise.

I would also like feedback on any posts, stories I write etc. I love exploring old churches, ruins, historical places especially ones with eerie going ons, you know, like the White Lady, The Headless Horseman and such – although I really don’t want to meet any of them in person. Just being told the fable about them is all I want really.

I love stories; reading, writing, telling and hearing them. At the moment I write short stories and have had one published in The Weekly News and a couple in some anthologies. Hopefully I’ll do a lot more this year and maybe even start on that novella I’ve been promising myself.

Also I want to have my blog up and running with loads of followers; other people who stop by for a read and a chat. I’ve taken the Blogging 101 challenge to learn how to blog regularly, instead of the once/twice a year I was doing until now.

Can’t wait to learn all there is to learn about blogging and I thank you all in advance πŸ™‚

https://blogging101january2015.wordpress.com/

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