Thursday, 29 November 2018

The Story behind the Book Jackets.

A picture says a thousand words they say.

If that is true, then why write a book you might ask? The book jacket is a flavour of what is to come. For the glossy hard copies shown below I added an illustrated back cover with transparency.

ORANGES: A Journey. 

Back cover:in Nerja as you look down to the sea. Taken from the side of the Balcon de Europa. 
Front cover: ripening oranges tumbling over a wall in Nerja. Taken between 2013 and 2016.

Just Us Two 2nd Edition. 

Back cover: a photo of Ned and Rosie on their Gold Wing converted to a trike. High in the Pyrenees above Gavarnie near the Spanish Border. 
Front cover: a photo of Ned and Rosie taken on Achill Island, Ireland on their first Gold Wing trip. The background is the Circle of Mountains as they left Soldeau,Andorra in 

Chasing Rainbows.

Back cover: Montserrat near Barcelona, Spain.
Front cover:a rainbow in the background. Taken in Nerja after a storm from our hotel balcony, the rainbow arched from the Almijara mountains over to the sea with the town in the distance.
The photo of the Eiffel Tower was my 'pot of gold' at the end of the rainbow as I realised another dream.

The Long Leg of Italy.

Back cover: the Dome of St Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Front cover: has three photos under a map of Italy.
- Madonna di Campiglio, Brenta Dolomites. Northern Italy.
- Basilica di Santa Maria Della Salute, from the Accademia Bridge, Grand Canal, Venice.
- Trulli houses. Alberobello, Puglia. Southern Italy.

Island Interludes.

Back Cover: A view from the walk down from Tramontano. Sicily. With transparency.
Front Cover:  A view from the walk down from Tramontano. Sicily.

All titles are in print and digital formats. Both paperback (perfect bound soft cover) and glossy hardcover are printed on acid free paper from sustainable sources. All books apart from ORANGES are illustrated with full colour photographs to enhance the reading experience.

Rosalie Marsh 2018

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

More on Andalucia and Nerja in Southern Spain.

Nerja, Home from Home.2015 and 2016

On our more recent winter sunshine breaks, we have taken life even more slowly. The usual excursions through the beautiful Lecrin Valley below Granada and the Moorish town of Almunecar further east on Costa Tropical got me off the sunbed as I soaked up the gentle swish of the sea.

Wandering even further into the old town, we discovered old haunts from our first visit more years ago than I care to remember along with a profusion of orange trees at every turn.. 

If you are doing the sums you will calculate that it is fifteen years since we rode down the coast.

At the time I wrote two blog posts of out 2015 stays.  There is a good narrative with photographs so I won't re-invent the wheel. Enjoy later.

2016 brought more explorations in the sunshine. Again there are blog posts. Three in all.

 Nerja in the rising sun and setting sun.

It is impossible to relate completely all of our adventures in Andalucia. Many have formed the background to ORANGES: A Journey. A fiction fantasy built on a dream.

Rosalie Marsh 2018.
All photographs copyright Rosalie Marsh.

Friday, 16 November 2018

More Exploration of Andalucia, Southern Spain.

A few years later, in 2012 and 2013 we returned to Nerja, East of Malaga, in Spain. The winter sunshine and easy pace of life drew us.

We enjoyed  excursions  in 2013 to Cordoba and Ronda and of course Malaga. With our base in Nerja we were well placed to explore.

Cordoba is a long drive and     makes for a long day. It really deserves an overnight stop at least but at least our short stay whetted our appetite for a more extended visit. he old Roman Bridge stands solid of construction as it defies the march and ravages of time.



During a return visit to Ronda, we re-acquainted ourselves with familiar places, not least the approach that we first made on our Honda Gold Wing motorbike all those years ago; the Parador in the Plaza and the hotel in the narrow street leading off from here. I elected to wander while the rest of the party went on the walking tour. Exploring on my own, I discovered a delightful cafe on the other side of the bridge with a marvellous view of the gorge from the other side.

Read my blog post  of our return to Nerja at

Rosalie Marsh 2018
Photos copyright Rosalie Marsh 2013

Friday, 9 November 2018

Exploring Andalucia in Southern Spain.

Our first winter sunshine break in Nerja, East of Malaga.2008 and 2009

I usually refer to the south of Spain - what most people know as the Costa del Sol - as Andalucia as this covers a vast area not only along the coast but deep into the interior. It is the last area that the Moors left many years ago and still retains much of its Moorish influences.
Thing Granada and the Alhambra Palace; Cordoba with its mosque and Romad Bridge, Pampaneira and Trevelez in the Sierra Nevada, Gibraltar, Nerja, Malaga, Marbella . . .

Here are a few  - just a few from the many in our on line photo albums - of some of the places that we have explored. These visits were extended and with a holiday company who offered a four weeks all inclusive stay for the price of three weeks. What not to like? Especially as many of the excursions were included.

Firstly, we have to look at Nerja itself. So unspoiled. The famous Balcon de Europe juts out over the sea. Over the years this has become one of our favourite resting places as we explore the town, enjoying a cool drink in one of the cafe's overlooking the sea as we bask in the hot rays of the winter sunshine.

Market in Granada
Granada has the most wonderful market that seems unchanged for centuries.
The Malaga lights which are switched on in early December are
entrancing.  The lifelike figures in the displays on the roundabouts. have costumes of real flowers. The shops are brightly lit with intricate decorations.

In Gibraltar the monkeys on the Rock are a must see. This baby must have had wind as it was having its back rubbed.

Rosalie Marsh 2018
Photos copyright Rosalie Marsh 2008, 2009


Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Living Life to the Full. - Spain on a Gold Wing Motorbike.

‘If we buy a scooter will you travel? Will you brave the ferry? Will you? Can we?’

We did but suffice to say, the said scooter quickly became something else:

Image of a Gold Wing Motorbike 1998"Rosie stood transfixed. She had wandered into the showroom out of the way, while Ned looked at the display of kit car models . . .and, there it was – the most beautiful creation you could hope to see. It sat majestically in all its glory, all gleaming black, and chrome. It was huge with deeply padded leather seats, controls, and knobs worthy of an aeroplane cockpit. It waited patiently on its podium just waiting for them to fall in love with it. Ned came to see where she was.
‘What is it?’ Rosie asked in wonder.
‘It is a Gold Wing,’
‘That is what we need if we are going to tour,’ Rosie said." 

The die was cast, the deed was done, and eventually they sent off with the world at their feet, or rather under their bike wheels and the comfy King and Queen seats.. Spain called. More importantly a little voice calling 'Andalucia' was so persistent that our intrepid couple changed their plans and set off to travel to Andalucia in the far south of  Spain. 
Their route took them from Wales to England, across  France - with a slight unexpected detour to the cobbles of the Palace of Versailles on a loaded Gold Wing. They crossed the border south of  Perpignan to Barcelona. Followed the coast road and from their high vantage point could see the coast spread out below as they rode to the very south inland and then on the Costa del Sol road to Nerja and the Paraiso del Mar. Paradise personified!Ned and Rosie in Andalucia. Nerja and Ronda. 
Ronda and more adventures followed on this epic journey that took in three thousand, seven hundred miles in the heat of a scorching June summer as they travelled through the interior and the [cooler] lush green of the North.

Photos copyright of Rosalie Marsh 1998-2001
Excerpt from 'Just Us Two Ned and Rosie's Gold Wing Discovery'. 2009.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Scrap the Reading Tax on Reading and Learning. eBooks and Audio.

Will the UK Government follow the recent EU relaxation on taxing digital and audio books? A Campaign by the Society of Authors.

An excerpt. (Because I could not write it more clearly.)

"It has been a longstanding principle that VAT is zero-rated on sales of printed books, in order to prevent a tax on reading and a tax on knowledge.
An anomaly in EU law has prevented the Government from extending the same status to digital publications such as audiobooks and e-books. But earlier this month the European Commission agreed to allow all member states to give e-books and audiobooks the same VAT-free status as printed books."

 The Society of Authors are asking members to write to their MPs, urging them to call on the Government to implement this change as part of the upcoming budget on 29 October. 
If you feel strongly about this, a template letter for you to personalise will be found in the link to the article above. I have written to my MP Mr Ian Lucas. MP for Wrexham.
For convenience here it is below:
Subject: Scrap the reading tax
I am writing as your constituent and a member of the Society of Authors regarding VAT on digital publications such as e-books and audiobooks.
It has been a longstanding principle that VAT is zero-rated on sales of printed books, in order to prevent a tax on reading and a tax on knowledge.
An anomaly in EU law has prevented the Government from extending the same status to e-publications such as audiobooks and e-books. But earlier this month the EU agreed to allow all member states to give e-books and audiobooks the same VAT-free status as printed books.
It is now within the UK’s power to scrap the reading tax by reducing VAT on e-books and audiobooks to zero. The cost to the Treasury is likely to be negligible. But the impact on authors and readers would be considerable, enabling more books to be sold and more people to experience the pleasures and educational benefits of reading.
It is important that the UK does not delay and risk putting itself at a competitive disadvantage with other EU countries. I would therefore be grateful if you could write to the Chancellor ahead of the Budget on 29 October, urging him to bring digital publications into line with printed books by reducing VAT down to 0%. Together, we can scrap the reading tax.
I look forward to hearing from you."

Yours sincerely,

On another note, I wrote a passionate article some time ago about the importance of eBooks. " In defence and celebration of eBooks."


Rosalie Marsh 2018

A Late Flowering in Rosie's Garden.

After the drought and storms my garden is blooming.

A late flowering pink and white fuchsia
My fuchsia struggled in the hot summer and the recent storms. In the shelter of the wall from the east winds, it has revived and thrived to present us with a glorious display in October. 

Likewise the begonias that I 
put on the wall to make way for vibrant chrysanthemums elsewhere.

Brilliant pink busy lizzies flowering still

White clematis and white busy lizziesI moved the big pot of busy lizzies into the shelter of the wall due to new plantings. They were still flowering and too good to put on the compost heap. The recent rains and sunshine have brought forth more flowers.     The new climbing clematis is growing up the pyramid support. Underplanted with white busy lizzies                                                                    

In the corner, my Arbutus - Strawberry Tree - is producing an abundance of flowers.
Groups of delicate pink and white hanging flowers

So all is well in Rosie's Garden.

Rosalie Marsh 

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Preparing for a Webinar Presentation

Customer Service in your Organization with

In my book Talking the Talk, I emphasise how important the three 'P's' are.
Plan, Prepare, and Practise.

Practising what I preach, I took this message with me as I began to tailor my usual generic presentation on Customer Service to the Health and Social Care Professions and their varied organizations.

The underlying messages are the same the world over but in a face-to-face workshop it is easier to have interaction. However the Go to Webinar software programme has a facility for delegates to interact by typing in questions and comments. I have done this many times as a delegate.
If you work in the Health and Social Care sector, having the tools to deal with your service users can increase your confidence in a difficult situation.

Here is an excerpt from the registration page:

The aim of the webinar is to enable you to deal more effectively with service users and the problems that you face in meeting service standards.
Learning Outcomes
  • An increased awareness of a variety of communication skills
  •  A wider appreciation of your customer service/service provider role within your organization.
  •  The tools to deal with problems and complaint.
Webinar Outline
  •  Customer service in context in relation to service users.
  •  Creating a positive impression of your organization
  •  Team work and constructive working relationships
  •  Dealing with problems and complaints
  •  Oral communication 
  •  Telephone techniques
  •  Written communication
Registration is easy and FREE. When? Tuesday, September 25th Time? 8:00pm

I look forward to meeting you.

Rosalie Marsh

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Island Interludes - an overview

Over the last few blog posts, I have given you a flavour of our travels over the years as we escaped from the hurly burly of life to the wonderful and diverse islands of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean islands.

Which is my favourite? It is hard to choose between them as they all have their own charm and, to be honest it depends what you are looking for.

Cyprus with its ancient culture contrasting with the southern beaches baking in the sunshine provides rest and relaxation together with opportunities for exciting days out in the coolness of the interior and northern coast.
Malta has a wealth of history and culture as well as wonderful hotels on the coast where the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea lap at the coast.
Sicily. Charming Sicily which goes back thousands of years - as do Malta and Cyprus. The Greek Theatre in Taormina is set amidst of what is now a bustling city. Amazing that it has withstood the test of time over thousands of years from its position high above the sea as it guards the island.

Sao Miguel in the Azores hides away in the North Atlantic. Lying parallel to Lisbon in Portugal it is one of a chain of islands. When we went, we felt as if we were in another world but now, these islands are opening up more to tourists.
Madeira in the warm waters a little further south - off the West coast of Africa -  is known as a 'floating garden' such is the abundance of flora and fauna. The levadas or waterways which feed water from the mountains across the island are a walkers paradise.
The Islas Canarias. The Canary Islands) of Fuerteventura, Lanzarote lying closest to the west coast of Africa, are a complete contrast to the greener and diverse Tenerife, Gran Canaria and La Gomera. I defy anyone not to find one that suits them.

Read our stories and adventures. The Boom Trike adventure in Fuerteventura was a total delight and vies for space with our little scooter adventure in Tenerife where we rode up to Mount Teide - and gently coasted down on a last drop of petrol.

But which is my favourite?

The mysterious island of La Gomera has the edge I think although it is hard to choose.
perhaps you can choose?

More video trailers and videos on You Tube