Monday, 22 August 2016

More tales in the hurly burly of writing life.

The last few weeks have been a mixed bag.

Wearing two hats in my writing, marketing and publishing life I hop about from one focus to  another. I was going to say  from my main love, travel,  but both travel and personal development are dear to my heart.

It is August and the silly season when many people forsake the UK for more exotic climes. I did read this weekend that the number of what they call 'staycation' holidays have increased massively. In other words people have stayed in the UK.

During our years riding our beloved Honda Gold Wing we went on ride-outs in North Wales and beyond as well as  to events in other parts of the country. I have to say that if we had not, we would never have discovered the true beauty, diversity, and the staggering extremes in the formation of this land of ours. On a bike you can go on roads that you wouldn't have dreamed of before. It is not the same in a car - you are not at one with the world the same.

With our wings clipped now - forgive the pun -  we are limited to reading on Face Book how our friends are having fun as they hop from one event to another or simply ride off in a group. Snowdonia is one of our favourites as I have posted on here many times. The drive to Llangollen in particular and Betws-y-Coed are so different at all times of the year when the mountains are wearing a different dress. Barren one season, clothed in purple heather and yellow gorse, or snow capped mountains giving way to the new growth of spring in others, at every turn the view is stupendous.

So what about this mixed bag?

It is also that time of year when many are leaving full-time education and stepping into

that scary new world of work. Their learning journey has not ended with full-time education. It in reality is only just starting as they forge their way in the world.

Now that I am a lone worker, I find that I am increasing my knowledge on the technical front as the organisations that I work with on the publishing side have updated and expanded their websites for data submission.  All exciting as I can now feed more detailed metadata to the printer/distributor.  The hosting company for my websites recently re-designed their platform which meant that I had to completely update and input  before the cut off date of September which is now alarmingly near. The changes make for a more vibrant site and even more user-friendly experience for anyone not familiar with using HTML to build a site as I am.

Now, after a change of priorities in the 'to-do' list over the last few weeks, it is time to focus on outstanding work, complete the metadata updating, and progress the notes on Tenerife and complete the first draft for Island Interludes before the end of August. ( We do have a field trip planned next year to re-visit the interior of Tenerife - just to check facts and update you see.


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Stress Management. What is Stress?

What do we mean by stress?

We often hear someone saying: ‘I am stressed!’ Are they really? On the other hand, are they just under extreme pressure. If you are to manage your personal and professional development effectively, you need to be able to recognise and manage stress.

What is Stress?

‘Stress is a reaction, physical, mental, or emotional, to demands or changes in your life’
Diagram-Stress - copyright Rosalie Marsh 2011
(Permanente 1996 P1) 

Another explanation could be explained as follows:
‘Stress occurs when the pressures upon us exceed our resources to cope with these pressures’ (Changing Times 1997 P1)
There are many articles and books on the subject of stress. The indicators are that what is beneficial for one e.g. working under pressure, can be harmful for another, and be acute distress.

Therefore, in seeking to analyse stress, it becomes apparent that there is no stereotype definition. Acceptable stress levels vary with each individual. Indeed, they are dependent on individuals' needs and preferences, at any point in time. This indicates that what may not have been stressful some years ago, could be stressful some years later due to changing conditions and factors in a person’s life.

What is clear, is that stress occurs when pressure becomes more than is acceptable. At this point, it is counterproductive. There is a difference in stress and pressure.

Pressure is being stretched – but within the capacity of the individual
Stress occurs when pressure becomes more than acceptable. It occurs when the optimum level is reached.

Many people work well under pressure and indeed produce their best work under these conditions. However, stress (distress) is counterproductive. Pressure can turn to stress not only over workload problems; it could be work conditions, which impinge or have an adverse effect on personal life. A build-up of an unresolved problem may result in a seemingly unimportant incident being the trigger for acute distress.  This incident may reflect back to psychological problems or feelings previously buried.

Post published on LinkedIn 09.08.2016

Excerpt fro Release Your Potential 2011

Rosalie Marsh

Monday, 1 August 2016

Some fine and relaxed dining in and around Wrexham

One of our 'hobbies' shall I say, is treating ourselves to a meal in a relaxed restaurant with good food and service.

In North Wales there are many such venues ranging from small pubs to larger establishments.  Here are just a sample of what you can find in and around Wrexham.

The Golden Lion Pub and Restaurant, Chester Road  Rossett. Wrexham. Rossett.
Situated in the very heart of the lovely village of Rossett, just past the old mill with its water wheel,The Golden Lion is managed by  Allan Parrington who combines efficiency, friendliness and flexibility of seating for parties with keeping the wheels turning with his cheerful team.
Some recent additions are new patio furniture in the rear extensive gardens plus a new outdoor eating area at the front amid a profusion of flower tubs and hanging baskets. We know from experience how flexible the team are in re-arranging the interlinking rooms for parties of various sizes. Over the years we have got to know some of the locals and the friendly staff. There is ample parking.
Oh, and did I mention the food? A high standard as always with good wines. Our favourite Sunday Lunch choice.

A cosy fire in winter. 

A view from one of the dining rooms.                 Daffodils in Spring.

The Beeches, Chester Road, Gresford.
A Whitbread Inn the pub/restaurant is next door the recently extended The Premier Inn. The menu is extensive and the wines good. Staff are friendly and the waiter service is most welcome. We enjoy going her in the week for lunch.

The Lemon Tree Restaurant with Rooms. Rhosddu Road, Wrexham.
In the centre of town within convenient walking distance from the bus station and rail station. We have visited many times over the years under various managements. It is a lovely location with an excellent menu for lunch or dinner - or even just a coffee while you read the paper and meet with friendsafter a shopping session.

The Egerton Arms, Broxton Roundabout, Chester.
About ten miles from Wrexham off the Nantwich Road at the Broxton Rd/ Whitchurch Road junction. An excellent choice with good food, wines, service and friendly staff. All managed by Wayne Barlow.

The Stamford Bridge, Tarvin Road Chester.
Although it is a while since we have been there as it is a little far out for us, I am giving it a mention as our friend from The Golden Lion, Richard,  has recently taken over the management. We will have to pay him a visit. His knowledge of wines is excellent.

Even further out but handy for meeting friends who live a distance away is The Boat House at Parkgate. Managed by Wayne who we first met at The Golden Lion some years ago.

Just a flavour!


Saturday, 23 July 2016

Closer to Home - the Solace of the Green Valleys

Escape to the hills of North Wales.

Time for some rest and relaxation and with the sunshine drawing us to venture further afield than our  usual Thursday lunchtime choice Allen asked,
'Well, where do you want to go?'
'I don't know, I just feel the need to wander by a river.'
Do you want to go to Betws-y-Coed and have lunch at the Waterloo?'
I jumped at this and needed no further bidding. After the hurly burly of the last couple of weeks another escape was called for.
Turning out of our village, away from the town and the usual drive along the A483/A5 through Llangollen, Allen turned the opposite way towards the Mold road.
'I am coming this way for a change.'
'Fine by me'.
We found that the dual carriageway had a reduced speed limit to 50mph. Neither of us could see the sense in this but knew that there had been a few serious accidents further along where the road went back to single lanes before the sharp bends.

Taking the Corwen road at Pontblyddyn we were soon climbing through the leafy, sleepy road towards the hills and moors of Llandegla. The sign for Pentredwr reminded me that we were on the other side of the mountains that we were used to on the Horseshoe Pass. The many sheep grazed contentedly on the lush grass, keeping their balance on the steep pastures as the hills rose and fell into deep valleys.
It was lovely driving through the valleys to Betws-y-Coed. Mile after mile of green fields in the sloping mountains - such solace. 

Just after the Rhug Estate and ancient chapel, we turned onto the A5  - it is an historic route being the old post road from London to Holyhead and the ferries to Ireland - just past the Ruthin junction, stopping off at the newly expanded Rhug Estate  cafĂ©/shop/bistro. For many years it was a simple stop and a favourite with bikers as there was not much else along this stretch of road. The Rhug Estate breed Bison cattle and a feature of the menu is 'Bison'. We settled for the outdoor seating area with a cup of tea. There is also a covered 'no smoking area'  where the milk and sugar etc. is found. The Bistro looked very inviting as did the Farm Shop which stocks organic  and artisan products. Many of the food there was gluten free. We spent a happy time examining all the wonderful array of labels on the cakes, meats, preserves - they even have a bacon butty sauce - and the vast selection of artisan cheeses. The washrooms were excellent. A bison's head with a bow in its hair proclaimed 'Merched/Ladies. My husband told me that the bison on the gent's door had a bow tie.

Onwards to Betws-y-Coed and after crossing the ancient Waterloo Bridge we passed the sign informing us that Betws-y-Coed is the 'Gateway to Snowdonia'.

After an excellent meal in the 1815 lounge/bar of the Waterloo Hotel,we decided against going further into Snowdonia on this visit but headed home through Corwen and         Llangollen.

The solace of the hills and valleys had done their work (although I didn't get to wander by the river which tumbles over the rocks -above).


Saturday, 2 July 2016

Monfortinho - a hidden gem in Portugal

Monfortinho and the Termes de Monfortinho.

To round off our journey through France and Spain to Portugal, I must tell you about a most delightful village near the  Portuguese/Spanish border.
As you cross the border from Spain,  the delightful, cobbled village of Monfortinho is hidden from the road as it nestles in the valley.
The cobbled streets wind up and down and around the village to bring you, past the church and back onto the main road again. As it was siesta time after a wonderful lunch in Termes de Monfortinho, we didn't have the opportunity to explore more. Most sensible people were sleeping off the effects of a good lunch.

Termes de Monfortinho is a village which has developed around the Thermal Springs which have become famous for their therapeutic properties. In this area, many rivers flow down
from the mountains which surround the area.

Before meeting family one day, we decided to take a look. We were very pleasantly surprised at the scale of the village and the very modern properties. Reaching a junction, we came upon a long, tree-lined street. Parking up we wandered around and came upon the welcoming and traditional Hotel Boa Vista.
As it was so hot, we decided not to rest on the terrace but settled inside for a cool drink. Chatting to Rui he assured us that there was a lift asked if we wanted to see some rooms. The hotel is about 100 years old and, in order to facilitate a lift, they  had built it on a corner outside and surrounded it by glass. Very innovative and shows what can be done. The rooms are traditional with all modern conveniences.

The following day we took family there for  lunch. The welcome was even greater than on the previous visit and with all parties using  a smattering of Portuguese and English plus a phrase book we negotiated our way around the menu which, I have to say, involved very good portions of food..  Before this, we had strolled around the village looking what they had to offer. It is utterly charming. After lunch, on seeing the Artesano (pottery)shop, we stopped the car and dived inside into the coolness of this wonderful shop full of Portuguese pottery. Really, I could have filled the boot of the car!
Perhaps next time?
There are many images on Google at