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

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Exploring Sunshine Islands - Gran Canaria

Return to Gran Canaria. Another escape to the sunshine.

Flowers tumbling down a wall in Puerto de Mogan

On our travels through the sunshine islands of Las Canarias, I usually wrote a blog post to share our experiences. Many of these appear in the chapter on Gran Canaria in Island Interludes: Just Us Two Escape to the Sun.

 Puerto De Mogan lies on the south-west of the island.

"Our half day excursion to Puerto De Mogan would follow the coast road westwards from San Agustin. This coast road ends at Puerto De Mogan from where it turns north to follow
the valleys and over the mountains to the west side of the island. Until recently the motorway ended at Puerto Rico further east but the new tunnels through the mountains have made travel much easier; this was the route home.

Picture of a flower-covered archway in Puerto de Mogan.Early one morning, we boarded our coach to head towards Maspalomas from where we could see the sand dunes and the Faro de Maspalomas or (Lighthouse). This coast road took us through the villages of Arguineguín and Puerto Rico with its busy harbour/port where, from our vantage point of the coach high on the road on the side of the mountain, we could see the many boats. Once in Puerto De Mogan, looking back and upwards we could see how high on the side of the mountain we had been. Almost hanging off with a sheer drop to one side. It is a fascinating way to get a good glimpse of the coastline and geography of the area.

boats lying idle in the harbour of Puerto de Mogan

Our guide gave us the choice of heading off ourselves or following her to the harbour. What an enchanting place. There were many boats in the harbour and the bustle of market day did not detract from the tranquil scene. We were both entranced by the streets where walls and bridges across the streets were festooned with flowering shrubs of many colours as they rambled at will. . ."

Read my previous blog post on Gran Canaria and more at

Island Interludes is available in print and eBook formats worldwide.

Amazon UK Paperback currently on offer £1.49  Kindle £2.99 Amazon US Kindle $3.96

Includes 25 photographs and 5 maps which are in colour in all eBook formats.

images copyright Rosalie Marsh.

STOP PRESS! Smashwords July Summer Sale

Huge Discounts in the  Smashwords 

July Summer Sale.

Closes July 31st 2018

Images and offers - Travel books

Image of offers and books Lifelong Learning
Download in ePub, Mobi for Kindle, pdf,and more.

Rosalie Marsh
July 19th 2018

Monday, 25 June 2018

Cyprus . . .An Unforgettable Island in the Eastern Mediterranean.Sea.

Re-visiting the sunshine island of Cyprus.

I introduced you to Cyprus last year on the pre-release tour of Island Interludes. Now let
us explore a little more . . . On the map you will find Cyprus nestling south of Turkey.

One feature of Cyprus for those nervous of driving on the opposite side of the road (left) in the UK is that in Cyprus it is just the same. On our first visit to this sunny island we took advantage of this and hired a car. These were the earlier days before we had ventured out on our Gold Wing travels and it was all new to us.
Picture of book on a beach.

Escaping from the intense heat of the south we headed into the cool forests and onwards to the Troodos Mountains.

Troodos Mountains.

"Heading inland from Limassol, our destination today was the Troodos Mountains and a visit to the Kykkos Monastery deep in the north-west of the mountains.
Away from the excellent roads of the coast we found a great difference as we ventured north into the mountains. Many very old trucks and other vehicles contrasted with newer and smarter ones. There were also, tractors. Driving high into the hills we were treated to spectacular views across the fertile land. The road was not quite so good here – just a tarmaced section with no markings and the sides of the road left rough.

Passing through a mountain village we stopped to explore. The streets of this village were lined with smart houses. Shop fronts were adorned with displays of lace, rugs and bedspreads draped over all manner of things like chairs and a washing line. Sunshades and umbrellas protected more delicate lace. A cat, from its position at the edge of a pavement, lazily washed itself. . . .
Eventually, we reached the Kykkos Monastery Museum. As no photographs are allowed we bought the video. We do remember that it was an amazing experience. From the back of our tickets, which cost £1.50 (Cyprus pounds) then, I can see from the small map that the main entrance led into a large courtyard. This led into another one and then a church.

On the left of the main entrance was the ticket office and sales room. From these led a room with ‘antiquities’ between these last two and the courtyard. Further on from the ticket and sales rooms was an enormous room which displayed Early Christian, Byzantine, and Post-Byzantine church vestments and vessels. Also, jewels and what jewels. They took our breath away. A small octagonal room housed manuscripts, documents, and books while a larger octagonal room on the other side displayed icons, wall paintings, and wood carvings.

Leaving the Monastery, we stopped along the road to drink in the views from this high vantage point in the mountains. The Troodos mountains with their many different types of trees are beautiful with the most fantastic views and between the leaves of the trees, glimpses of red-roofed houses tumbling down the mountainside. The whole setting was one of coolness, tranquillity, and timelessness. This coolness was greatly appreciated after the heat of the coast.

On the way down, we saw a garage/petrol station. It sported a Honda sign and proclaimed that it was a ‘Famous Garage’. The voices of children playing in a nearby school playground brought us back to reality. . ."

Rosalie Marsh

Friday, 1 June 2018

A Showcase Musical Interlude at Ty Pawb with '4 Squared' String Quartet.

A lunchtime event with a difference.

The latest showcase music event  in Ty Pawb, our new Arts, Community, Markets hub in Wrexham, was a medley of music from the talented '4 Squared' String Quartet of young musicians.
All are music students aged 18/19 years old who are going on to further studies at such prestigious seats of learning such a the Royal Welsh School of Music and Drama in Cardiff and the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Organised by the indefatigable and jovial Derek Jones of the Wrexham Symphony Orchestra,( it provided a platform for Abbie Jones (Viola), Catherine Gannon (Violin), Jes Holding (Violin) and Matthew Phillips (Cello) to not only share their music with the people of Wrexham at this free event but also to allow them to gain experience of playing outside of an orchestra.

From Shostakovich, Mozart, Dvorak and Edward Elgar to Ed Sheeran, Elvis Presley,Dexy's Midnight Runners, Leonard Cohen, Sam Smith and Lennon & McCartney the pace was ever-changing.

Well done to these young people. Helping to keep music alive in Wrexham.

(photos copyright Rosalie Marsh - by kind permission)

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

. . .and Onwards to Lanzarote.

Revisiting Lanzarote is Different Every Time.

Image of a map of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

Lanzarote lies to the north of Fuerteventura which we visited last time. You can see it on the map lying to the east of all the islands that lie just off the west coast of Africa. Arrecife is its capital city. On our first visit, my husband took the opportunity of going on an excursion to the late artist's unique studio home in Taro de Tahiche. (No photographs available.)

César Manrique.

No writing about Lanzarote would be complete without a mention of César Manrique, a native of Lanzarote and a famous artist and architect, who had a huge influence of the development and design of the island for the tourist industry into what we see today. He had was instrumental in stopping the development of hi-rise buildings which is why the tall hotel in Arrecife is the only one on the island. It can be seen for miles around. All other buildings are low rise.

My husband took advantage of the excursion to the late artist’s unique studio home in Taro de Tahiche where the Fundación César Manrique is based. He [my husband] was full of the design.
‘He built his home using the bubbles that had formed in the lava flow by joining several these bubbles together using excavation tunnelling to form rooms for various uses. Basically,’ he recounted, ‘it is all underground.’
My husband has recalled this after ten years, so deep are his impressions.

Following this visit, the tour headed towards the village of Guatiza, and the Jardín de Cactus or Cactus Garden, which again was designed by César Manrique. When he came back to the hotel, my husband was full of the amazing sights of the many cacti which are grown there but not being a botanist didn’t memorize details. Therefore, he has little recall of that visit, unlike the former visit which is imprinted on his mind feeding as it did his deep interest in his engineering and discovery side.

Below are some images of Lanzarote taken on a later visit- copyright Rosalie Marsh
Image of a volcanic eruption in Timanfaya National Park. Lanzarote
Image of Los Hervideros, Needles of Rock. Lanzarote
Image of a tall hotel on Lanzarote. Arrecife

Image of tLa Cueva de los Verde, Lanzarote

Rosalie Marsh

Friday, 11 May 2018

It is Good to be Back - Let's Go to Fuerteventura.

Island tour of Fuerteventura.

Taking advantage of the Saga included Island Tour we looked forward to an interesting and informative day with an opportunity to learn more about the island.

Caleta de Fuste lies south of the capital, Puerto del Rosario, on the east coast. Travelling on a well-maintained road we headed to the sand dunes in the north-east of the island. The coach disgorged its passengers so that they could wander over the dunes and take photos. In the distance was a large hotel on the seashore. The coach was on a section of hard standing [tarmac]at the side of the road. The guide explained that many people came here to park up and sunbathe. The hard standing had been provided at the side of the road as many park their cars on the sand; the car wheels would then gradually sink into the soft, fine sand as the wind blows the sand against the wheels and the cars become stuck. There were two men who permanently patrolled the area to rescue stranded motorists.

Travelling northwards we could see the many clumps of vegetation in the sand. The flat sea shore was clearly visible as was the small Isla de Lobos which has a National Park. Eventually, as we neared Corralejo the island of Lanzarote came into view. Corralejo is very built up and the main tourist destination. Fuerteventura lies to the south of Lanzarote [they are both the closest to Africa of all the Canary Islands] and it is from Corralejo that the ferries ply back and forth the short distance between Fuerteventura and Playa Blanca on the southern shores of Lanzarote.

Turning away from the north coast, the terrain became more undulating. It appeared in stark contrast to the interior of the island of Lanzarote which we visited in the previous chapter. The earth was a glorious mix of colours from red through to green and brown as vegetation covered the sweeping fields on the mountainsides with palm trees lining the road. We were now heading down the western side of the island towards Betancuria which is almost on a parallel with Caleta de Fuste. On the way, we had a glimpse of Tindaya Mountain which was considered by the original inhabitants to be a sacred mountain.

Next stop - Down the switchback road to Betancuria and the GoatFarm. . .

Rosalie Marsh

Tuesday, 1 May 2018



Lying here resting after my operation, I am looking at the beautiful Spring view from my bedroom window.
The trees, swaying in the morning breeze, are showing off their new clothes. All of a sudden, with new life, their small budding leaves have burst forth to wipe out the starkness of the winter scene as they embrace Spring.

The trees, waving at me through the window, are set against an almost cloudless sky. Today is May Day - the 1st of May.

The gentleness of yellow daffodils has been replaced with the vibrancy and elegance of tulips surrounded by grape hyacinths or silver-leaved cinerias.

I can only reflect on the beauty of nature; a beauty that survives all the trials and tribulations of the modern world; a beauty  that transcends all the destruction wrought by man. A beauty and cycle of life that reasurres us that, at the end of the day, life goes on. Plants push up from the cold earth to greet the sun and rejoice as their flowers bud and bloom. Majestic mountains still watch over us silently, and trees withstand the cold and wind of winter as God takes his paintbrush to remind us what a wonderful world we live in.
You only have to travel down the A5 through Llangollen to Snowfonia to see a new painting every week. Better on a motorbike though!
We have to be thankful for our health and strength and take time to 'stop and stare' while we reflect on life itself and its meaning.

My current series of excerpts from Island Interludes had been rudely interrupted but thankfully and hopefully I will be posting again soon when I get to my desk.
Currently posting in a limited way from my smartphone.
Let us also be thankful for modern technology!


Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Let's go to the Sunshine Island of Madeira!

The floating garden in the Atlantic Ocean. Contrasts . . .

It has been raining heavily of late here in the UK. Yu could say that it is weather for ducks! This one has caught a cold I think!

But over in the North Atlantic there are clusters of islands where it rarely rains compared to the UK. There must be some rain however for Madeira to be known as the gloating garden of the Atlantic. Here is a flavour:

An amazing firework display.

You will be have heard about the firework displays over Funchal? For me they were a "total surprise as I had always thought that the fireworks were in the harbour area. In fact –all the villages in the hills above Funchal had set up synchronised fireworks. As these synchronised displays exploded in a blaze of colour and fire in the hills above Funchal at midnight, the brightly decorated cruise ships in the harbour sounded their horns in a wonderful noisy, medley of sound. The sound of car horns added to the noisy confusion as they were pressed to greet the New Year; more and more ‘gunshot’ sounds rent the air as fireworks exploded in bursts of colour, raining down to light the inky darkness of the sky. It was relentless.

Map of the islands of the North Atlantic Ocean - Madeira.The planned and coordinated display, exploding in the air for miles around as gunpowder, released from the confines of their containers in the ground below, sent bursts of colour again and again into the darkness of the night sky. It went on and on, appearing to be never-ending. It was truly wonderful and indescribable as eventually, momentum reached a climax. Ships in the harbour eventually sounded their appreciation and farewells before sailing away, . . This called for a glass of Champagne 

An abundance of exotic flowers.

"The lush and shady gardens spread out from the immediate grounds of the hotel, across a small narrow road from where the view down to the sea was picture postcard perfect, into another garden which led down to the pool area (where I almost drowned one day).
I often paused in this secluded garden with its winding paths and exotic trees such as kapok to drink in the peace and solitude, looking up through the trees at the clear blue sky at what I thought was paradise. At this point in my life I was in stunned awe of the beauty around me. Never had I thought that one day this distant dream of mine, to visit this floating garden in the Atlantic, would become a reality. Nor was I to know that we would re-visit twice more in the future."

"The colourful market is famous. Local ladies dress in the typical Madeiran costume of red skirt with colourful stripes from waist to hem, waistcoat, white blouse, and a pointed black hat.
In the market, the choice and size of fish seemed never-ending. One fish looked very unappetising. It was scabbard fish; the one that we had been advised to try before we saw it in the market as it its appearance belied its delicious taste; we would have been put of this delicate morsel if we saw it first as it came out of the sea before eating it.

The abundant displays of fruit and enormous vegetables in wicker baskets, the masses of flowers and the cries of stall holders shouting their wares all added to this unique atmosphere.

Photo of 'Just Us Two' in a wicker basket  ready for the ride down from Monte.
In the harbour, we were treated to the sight of a boat being built. Passing the many gardens with their tumbling profusion of lush vegetation and exotic flowering plants, the water playing from the cool fountains invited you to sit awhile and rest to enjoy the beauty around you. The old town is full of culture and history."

And of course, no visit to Madeira is complete without a fast and furious ride on a toboggan down from the hill village of Monte.


Photo copyright Rosalie Marsh
Illustrated Island Interludes: Just Us Two Escape to the Sun
Photos in the eBook are in colour.