Then just like that…. She was back!

In which I return to my ‘normal’ day routine and I tell you what I’ve been loving this month.

selective focus photography of spark
Photo by Malte Lu on

And so, my exam marking has finished for another year and I can return to my ‘normal’ life. It’s always rather sad when it ends, as it doesn’t end gradually; it is sudden and frequently unexpected. My husband and children breathe a sigh of relief because they can talk to me again without fear of interrupting me mid-flow and we can sit and enjoy a family meal. In a way, I am relieved that I have finished because I’ve been eating far too many Maltesers to get me through all of my work.

It was quite a coincidence that yesterday also marked the day that I received my book advance. Back to the book it is. But before I do return to it, I am going to take a couple of days off just to catch up on all those domestic chores I have neglected for the past month. What an absolute joy!

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The next few months will see some important occasions. I’m off to various places with book research and finally my dental operations will come to an end. Over the course of eight / nine months, I have had many dental operations to restore my crumbling teeth. I have an abnormal jaw that has caused my teeth to wear down over the years. I had to fight to receive any treatment and it was eventually a letter I sent to the Prime Minister that enabled me to be treated on the NHS.  My teeth are almost rebuilt and finally, I can smile again, and it is all down to the most wonderful post-graduate dental student named Wilander.

Over the months, Wilander has spent many hours up close to me, rebuilding my teeth and I feel that he has become a special person. I have chronic anxiety and Wilander is an expert at keeping me calm. He even allowed my husband to be present and hold my hand. It is no exaggeration to say that Wilander has changed my life. I can eat normal food again. I am not embarrassed to open my mouth and after many years of keeping my mouth closed, I can smile again. I was sad to learn last week that once Wilander has completed his studies, then he will be returning to his home country of Malaysia, where he can set up his own practice and look after his parents. I had hoped to keep seeing him as my dentist.

red and white mouth plastic toy and food plastic toys
Photo by on

Executive Pens

As I am about to return to researching my book, I have been looking for a really well-made pen set. There is nothing like using a beautiful pen to write and biros seem to dry up so quickly nowadays. I decided to look for a professional pen set that would last me a while and that I could use throughout my research. You can buy pen sets from Amazon and other online retailers, but I wanted to purchase something from a pen specialist. Therefore, I did what I always do when I want to find the right fit, I googled pen sets and thus came across Executive Pens.

Executive pens sell a wide range of pens, pen refills, journals and executive gifts including exclusive, luxury stationery. They have a range of the prestigious Visconti and Montegrappa pens  along with a selection of high quality executive pens from brands like Parker, Waterman and Faber Castell pens.

I purchased this Parker IM Black Gold Finish Trim Ballpoint & Rollerball Pen Set . I was kindly given a discount on my order, in return for a review, however, I would have purchased from them anyway, since they had the right item that I was looking for at a reasonable price and their customer service is exceptional.

My pens arrived super-fast and they were beautifully packaged and presented.  The business usually has a discount code available and postage and packaging is free on orders over £20. I will be buying more from them in the future as I believe in promoting small businesses. Executive Pens pride themselves on their five-star customer reviews. 

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They also offer an engraving service to give your pen that extra special personal touch, using the latest state of the art laser and diamond engraving technology.

Executive Pens Direct have also given me a 10% discount code to pass on to you if you fancy buying anything.  Code: THANKS10


Laura Jane Williams : Our Stop

Image result for laura jane willi ams our stop

I don’t mind admitting that I am a huge fan of Laura Jane. A few years ago, I undertook a couple of writing courses with her, and she really inspired me with her straight-talking and highly enthusiastic style of teaching. Over the years, Laura Jane has written two works of non-fiction and she recently brought out her first work of fiction, Our Stop. I was fortunate to win a copy, which came with a beautifully hand-written note from Laura Jane.

This book is undeniably going to be the perfect light summer read. It tells the story of a Nadia and Daniel, who take the same tube to work. Somehow, they just keep managing to miss each other. Even Nadia’s friend tries to set them up, not realising they already “know” each other.
The book does feel like the popular film,  Sliding Doors but this easy-read book carries you along in that great chick-lit tradition, that makes you hope that, despite all the near misses, they are somehow going to get their happy ending.

The Paperback will be released on August 8th but you can buy the kindle edition from Amazon now for a mere 99p here


Netflix: When They See Us

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If you are someone who hates injustice and finds yourself frequently shouting at the television, then maybe this is not the programme for you or maybe it is? It makes very uncomfortable viewing, but it is a programme that must be seen. The drama relates the story concerning a rape in Central Park in New York in 1989 and how five young men were falsely accused and convicted of the crime even with no evidence whatsoever. The group of young men were called the Central Park Five and throughout their prison sentences they continued to maintain their innocence and spend years fighting for justice. The drama unfolds and shows us how it was only in 2014 that the men were finally exonerated. The cast is full of Emmy nominees and winners, and was written and directed by Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Ava DuVernay.


Nadia Sawalha and family. Family, Food, Films and Fun

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Jonathan and I began watching Nadia Sawalha, her husband Mark and family about a year ago, when they started trying to tidy and work on their huge garden. Nadia and Mark are immensely messy and untidy. Their garden at first resembled a recycling centre with piles of household rubbish and even a life-size cardboard cut-out of Leonardo Dicaprio and numerous work invoices from when Nadia starred in EastEnders.

Over the past year, and following the advice of Nadia’s incredibly cheerful and dotty mother-in-law, Nanny Di, Mark has managed to sort out all the debris and finally the results of all their hard work are starting to show. After this success, the family then started doing videos on a range of topics. HomeTime and Weekend Vlogs are our favourite, and they discuss the usual things that most families do such as teenagers, politics, World issues and even Love Island. It makes for compelling viewing: not dissimilar to an intelligent person’s This Morning but with far more mistakes and less artifice. Mark is a bit of a man-child, Nadia is constantly over-thinking and nagging Mark and they are supported by a cast of interesting characters from Nadia’s Dad who has been in just about every single film ever made in the ’60s and ’70s, through to their incredibly cool teenage daughters, friends and other family members. I find it difficult to sit still and give my full attention to television and that is why this is the perfect show for me. You can have it on whilst doing something else.  Nadia cooks some great food and I am cooking her Moroccan lamb stew tonight.

Nadia is going to be participating in a Himalyan trek in October to raise money for CoppaFeel: a breast cancer awareness charity. The charity focuses on promoting early detection of breast cancer by encouraging woman under 30 to regularly check their breasts. Nadia is trying to raise £5000. You can read more about it here. If you make a donation then you can be entered into a special prize draw to have Nadia cook for you.

Anyway, time to get back to those household chores and start my Malteser detox. I’m not quite sure which is more soul-destroying!

See you soon, 

Elisabeth x 

None of these links are affiliates. I do not make any money from recommending these products. That way you can be sure of an #HonestReview. 

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