Sunday, 30 November 2014

When the Rain in Spain was a Tornado

With bad weather promised for southern Spain, no-one expected the force of nature it experienced.
The Canary Islands (on the BBC World weather) were completely covered and I feel sorry for those who had expected wall-to-wall sunshine.

Malaga on mainland Spain last week, a little bird told me, was under three feet of water at one point. It also had heavy hailstones bouncing down the streets.

West of Malaga, there was an orange alert. By all accounts, Torremolinos (near Fuengirola) was hit by a tornado which left a trail of destruction behind it.

East of Malaga, the sea was ferocious as it battered the beaches, bringing with it sugar cane sticks which apparently had been washed down the once-dry river beds to the sea.

As the storm blew itself out, sunshine returned to bathe everything in its warm glow.

We have visited Spain a few times now, and Nerja in particular is a wonderful, unspoilt area. Backed by mountains it turns its face to the sea to provide a tranquil scene.

 More in ORANGES: A Journey in paperback or multiple eBook formats.

Rosalie xx

Friday, 21 November 2014

Flavours of Granada

Blending the old with the new.

With the Sierra Nevada dominating it, Granada stands proud and timeless in what is now the Province of Granada in Andalucia, southern Spain. Approaching from the south you are treated to a backdrop of the snow-capped (if you are lucky) mountains as you travel through the newer and more modern part of the city.

We have visited Granada more than once as part of our recent frequent visits to Nerja on the coast. This period of rejuvenation in the warm sunshine and sea breezes of the Mediterranean Sea have helped us to re-focus in the hurly burly of life.

On our first visit to Granada, we were fortunate enough to be able to see something of the city as well as the Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens. Now, the booking system in place means that you have a timed slot for the Alhambra Palace which could make it difficult to do everything in one day.(Saga now offer the Alhambra as an optional tour and the representatives, who live in the hotel, organise the trip around the time-slot.)
Everything in one day? We have visited four times now and still not seen everything. 

As you walk into the centre of the city along the wide tree-lined boulevard, where old mingles with the new, you will find a wonderful modern department store called El Corte Ingles which has always proved to be a good meeting place as well as a good place to part with a few Euros. A little further along is the historic centre with the Cathedral and Royal Chapel where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella are buried.

Meander along and, rounding a corner, you happen on a collection of ancient, narrow streets huddled together to form a bazaar type of market The golden, mellow stone is welcoming. The collection of shops, and goods on display hanging from every available space, take you back in time. 

Round another corner and you come to streets where the buildings rise high into the sky - the balconies giving a taste of how life was lived in times gone by,

Venture into the main thoroughfare and on one intersection, with traffic zooming around, is a huge monument depicting Queen Isabella and Christopher Columbus as she hands him the letters of authority to go out and discover the New World. This, you must understand, was in the fifteenth century.

Along the riverside are tree-lined walks and seats to rest your weary legs.  There is so much to see and  Granada is very easy to explore but it is hard to get a flavour in a few short hours. The answer is the very new City Tour Train.

Granada City Tour Train.

This is a greatly updated version of the 'Little  Train' which you see in so many tourist spots. It has been built specially for Granada and the narrow streets of the old quarter - the Albaycin. If you have already visited the Alhambra Palace, you will have a different perspective as you trundle along the wooded hillside paths with the fantastic views over the city. With about eleven stops and a hop on-hop off system it is a fantastic way to get around the city. Follow the link above to read more about this fantastic city.

Read more on Granada and other parts of Andalucia in ORANGES: A Journey which, although a fiction story,is based on real settings. 

Rosalie xx

Monday, 20 October 2014

Blinking in the sunshine.

A change of focus as I go out in the world. 

The last few weeks have seen me diverting from my usual activities as I abandoned the comfort of my comfy chair and well-organised desk in what I call 'my cubby-hole.  I went over the county border out into the community to deliver a series of workshops to young entrepreneurs - or as I called them - the tycoons of tomorrow.

I am impressed with the support which Flintshire, through various initiatives, are providing for those who have dreams and want to start their own business. I take my hat off to all of them.

The Flintshire Enterprise Club /Dragon's Den Cymru offers support and engagement to people of all ages. The two groups which I met over three weeks were all at different stages of development in their fledgling businesses.

The purpose of the workshops was to guide them on how to deliver an effective talk or presentation.

I have to say, that I personally learned a lot. The two groups were diverse with the second group hoping to present their business to the forthcoming Dragon's Den Cymru.

I was also impressed that the Community Centre which I visited had a link with the school which adjoins the building. The IT suite was brilliant with the computers being linked into wide screens. (I first came across this collaboration when I started to visit my local gym and pool where nearby schools have full use of the pool and activity facilities.)

I try to inspire others to push back their boundaries but I have to say that these young people - of varying ages and abilities - inspired me. All I can say is 'thank you'. It was good to get back 'to the coal face' so to speak.

Rosalie xx

Read my article on LinkenIn

Friday, 10 October 2014

Precision Timing in the Pool

Weighing up the obstacles.

My twice weekly visits to our local leisure and activity centre go on, tempting though it is to skip one or two.
Monday is Aquafit day for me . It is on my planner as a fixture to be treated as an appointment. The exercises, although appearing to be gentle - well they are really - actually feel quite strenuous. There I have just contradicted myself! Twisting and turning, stepping forward and backwards through the water is not easy. The water flows around you as you march forward and then, on a shout from our Instructor, we go backwards with the water still flowing forwards. We march to the front, turn and march left, turn and march to the back wall, turn and march to the right before turning back to the front. We do contortions in the water; contortions which would be impossible for most of us out of the water. All good for the joints and mobility. And, I must say, working.

All good fun, especially when the polystyrene dumb-bells  come out of the netting. Now they are really hard work but it is a testimony to their effectiveness that I find them easier than in July. I am enjoying the lively music. I didn't enjoy this week though as the water was decidedly cold. Not just cooler than normal but a 'Brr' when you step in and submerged further down the pool. I didn't stay long; worried about standing in cold water for such a long period. (I think that they have been having problems.)

Onwards to later in the week for my gym and gentle swim session.

Dressed in my special blue activity trousers, bright pink t-shirt emblazoned with Centre Wings Andorra 2010 in silver on the front, and my polka dot blue lace up pumps, I feel ready for business. ( When enquiring about footwear for the gym and protesting that I didn't like trainers, I was curtly told 'it is not a fashion show'! I can be fashionable and sweaty can't I? I don't have to look scruffy simply because I am going for a work-out do I?)
The state-of-the-art gymnasium is wonderful. The lively music is encouraging; there are slots for iPlayers etc.; there is a choice of TV channels on the machines which have screens where you can set an exercise programme. Not wanting to develop muscles like Popeye, I set the weights for strength and mobility - keeping them lowish and something how I used to have them ten years ago. No, let's be honest - low!

The scales which I assume are accurate give me a lower reading than our digital ones at home. I am encouraged, albeit falsely but encouraged all the same. At least they are not higher!

To the pool.

When I first started in the pool in July, it was fairly empty in the general swimming slot in the afternoon. (General swimming means that it is for any age and you can go whichever way you want to and not keep to lanes as in the lane swimming slot.) In my case this means across the lanes as I have to be where I can touch the bottom and not drown.

As the weeks have gone by, along with the water getting cooler, it has got busier with some very strong swimmers.

So there we are readers, As these strong swimmers are racing up and down, I am keeping my eyes peeled for an opening to 'paddle' across in safety and not get mown down under the watchful eye of the lifeguard.
Yesterday, the water was surprisingly and thankfully warm again. Ready for the off, to my right I could see a silver head powering down the pool, arms trusting in the air before slicing through the water. Then to my left, I saw a black head bobbing up and down as another hulk  made light work of powering up and down in an underwater breast stroke. Two ladies swimming gently along while they chatted, laughingly looked on.
'I will get mown down if I am not careful', I commented.
As one passed one way and one the other, I spied my chance and moved off hoping to get across before they caught me up on the return journey! It really was a work of art. 

Perhaps I should brave a little deeper? I must have done it once to get my ten metres badge when I learned to swim many years ago in adulthood. But that was in the Plas Madoc leisure pool and I don't think it went as deep! The only consolation is that I am not the only one to use the width but children have an excuse and they never cease to amaze me with their fearlessness. It is good to see how much use the nearby schools make of the pool facilities with swimming times dedicated to them.

Now, back to website updates.

Rosalie xx

Monday, 29 September 2014

An Autumn Sunday in Snowdonia, North Wales.

First things first - lunch at the Waterloo.

Last week my lovely husband planned a day out for us on an unexpected free Sunday. In truth, he was thinking of the inner man and where we could find a good Sunday lunch to match our usual eaterie The Golden Lion, Rossett, Wrexham.

'What about Betws-y-Coed? We could go to The Waterloo Hotel and Lodge.' 
I was all for it as it was some time since we had headed down the A5 into the mountains and the gateway to Snowdonia. 
Turning off the A483 onto the A5 at Chirk, we were once again awed by the sheer beauty of the vista which opened up before us. Having traversed bridges over the Dee and Ceiriog rivers we had forgotten how high up we were and, as we turned, the whole Dee Valley to Llangollen was spread out below with the mountains in front. 
'Isn't that a wonderful view!  Aren't we lucky to live here? Do I always say that?' I ended.
'Usually' came the dry reply.
With precision planning we arrived just after 11:15am hoping for time to look around the village before lunch. Parking up at the Waterloo we went inside to check if we needed to book a table and immediately saw a familiar face.
'Hello,' Megan greeted us. 'Long time no see.' 
After catching up for a minute, we wandered off into the village. It was lovely and warm and the shops around the old railway station were busy. Actually, the trains still run through here and in one cafe, if you wander through to the back, you find yourself on the station platform. The water was still tumbling over the rocks as it flowed down from the Swallow falls.

Back at the Bridge Restaurant at the hotel, we opted for a table in the new conservatory. Although we had eaten in the 1815 bar on our last two weekday visits, we hadn't had Sunday lunch here for a while. Not since our GWOCGB regional motorbike meetings re-located to the coast. We were so impressed with the whole experience from the staff  to the beautiful newly re-furbished restaurant to the excellent food cooked to perfection. Compliments to the chef. A review is on Trip Advisor.

The Hidden Lakes - not of Italy this time - but Snowdonia.

Afterwards we continued along the A5, passing a lake on our right, into the Snowdonia National Park. The mountains reared up all around us. Clothed as they were in varying shades of vegetation, they were a colourful contrast to the blue sky and sunshine casting dappled shadows on the lakes. At Capel Curig, we turned down to Bedgellert for our favourite ice cream shop. Sitting on the wall in the warm sunshine, we chatted to biker friends who had the same idea. afterwards we continued towards Caernarfon, passing one or two more lakes on our left. At this point Mount Snowdon was on our right. Before  Caernarfon we headed down the road which would take us around the other side of Mount Snowdon, through Llanberis and the slate quarries, passing another lake on our left as we headed back to the A5 at Capel Curig. 

At Llanberis, the huge scarred mountains lay still; quiet now from the noise of quarrymen mining the slate for which Wales is famous. I often wonder how deep is the lake here and how far down into the bowels of the earth miners would have had to go as they met their master's demands for more slate. Above the lake, the many platforms blasted out of the mountain cascaded down to the water. Llanberis was busy with walkers and tourists.
Back on the A% main Holyhead-London Road, we once again passed an old coach, on display, which passengers would have journeyed on  in olden times.

Reaching Betws-y-Coed, we pulled in for a comfort stop to find the area around the craft shops and cafes overflowing with tourists, parked cars and many bikes and bikers. My husband was in his own little heaven as he drank in the sight of all the different bikes.

A wonderful day at the end of summer. One to put in the memory box of treasures.


PS. You can read more about the slate quarries around Llanberis and Caernarfon and the life and struggles of two families in The Widow Makers Trilogy by North Wales Author Jean Mead. They really do bring the area to life.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Feeling Homesick.

The importance of family and friends.

After a spell of family gatherings and connections, for the first time in many years I am feeling a little homesick for my childhood haunts and old life. The last time was when, as a very young mother I was two weeks overdue with our second child, we were newly in North Wales, and I just wanted my Mum. I saw her [Mum] in my dreams as she [daughter] was making her way into the world and Mum arrived hot foot as soon as she could.

It is wonderful to meet up  and make new, and renew, connections with family and friends and hear about one from the other. It made me pause and reflect on what we left behind when we moved, with hope in our hearts and a small baby, from Lancashire to North Wales all those years ago.

Social Media this last week has played a part in this as I have connected on Facebook with distant family across the globe.Through one connection on holiday from the US to Ireland, a whole new conversation opened up resulting in a multi-way conversation between Ireland, North Wales, and America. In the process, I established the relationship more clearly between two FB 'friends', discovered a possible new cousin in Ireland and made a new connection with more distant member of the family tree.

Nearer to home, when I find that family on both sides and friends all know each other, well I have a few pangs of homesickness. Especially when I saw a photo which included my childhood home and reflected how it all used to be.

But, what a wonderful place we live in now. What a good life, through had work, we have had. And what wonderful new friends we have made over the years - latterly through our GWOCGB family. Friendships which have endured. So we have a lot to be thankful for as we look forward.

We saw on BBC Cymru Wales this week how you could fly through the air on a Zip Wire off the mountain near Bethesda (Bangor, North Wales). 
The website says,
'These adrenalin fuelled attractions are a first for the UK, and are located in the most dramatic of settings – Zip World Velocity located at Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda, and Zip World Titan located at Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog, both nestled amongst the mountains of Snowdonia, North Wales.'

My husband was as enthralled as I was. He turned to me, 'How about us next year?'
'For my birthday?' I responded hopefully and eagerly. Well, he is not happy about me my birthday treat being a Balloon ride!

I might hold him to that. What a way to start another decade. Mind you, all subject to doctor's orders I expect.

Rosalie xx

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A Most Romantic Celebration of Love.

A close family member was married on Sunday at the Rhinewood County Hotel in Cheshire. We hadn't been to a wedding in a hotel before and I have to say how seamless it all was.

The room decked out for the actual ceremony was a vision. The main 'aisle' had an arrangement of gold petals arranged in a heart shape with a long trailing stem.
Malcolm Kindon- Toastmaster and Master of ceremonies, impressed on us the importance of not walking on these as we found our seats - the bride would go berserk!

Malcolm made it all work, as he liaised with all parties as to timings and things happening when they should.
The bride - a vision in a flowing cream gown looked like a princess.She arrived on her father's arm to the tune of a favourite love song. This set the tone of this happy and relaxed day. It was a celebration among chosen family and friends. Mind you - the petals were soon dispersed as her gown trailed over them but it didn't matter now.
The wedding vows were taken in front of a huge white gauzy backdrop, lit by tiny lights. The chairs were cream with a gold sash.

The registrar was very conscious that some may not understand the format of the ceremony or the legal implications and went to great pains to explain each part of the ceremony and the reasons,tradition, and legalities behind each part. He even explained that the marriage certificate belonged to the bride - not the groom! 

Malcolm Kindon (click on the link for full details- Tel 07756 017503) worked hard throughout the interim when photographs were taken and the room prepared for the wedding breakfast, the reception itself where he explained what was to happen at each part, the changeover for the evening disco and was still on hand well into the evening.
At the reception, he explained some of the traditions behind such things as 'wedding breakfast'. Did you know that? Even if the meal is later in the day and not an egg and bacon style of breakfast, it is named as such as it is the first meal the bride and groom take together after the wedding. (Breaking their fast so to speak.) I think I have that right. If you are reading this Michael, feel free to remind me.
Throughout the meal, pianist Dave Antrobus (07847 113906) treated us to a medley of love songs which carried on the romantic theme.

All in all, a wonderful experience and lets face it - if you are not being married in church then a hotel event is better than a sometimes cold and cheerless registry office from where you have to find your way to the reception afterwards.

Thank you to the bride and groom for a sharing a truly wonderful celebration with us.
No photographs as we didn't take any. OH forgot to bring the camera in and this is personal anyway. It was wonderful to catch up with scattered family.

Rosalie xx

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Is the pace of life increasing?

Another week flies by as summer draws to a close.

It doesn't seem two minutes since my last post ans here we are, almost a week later.
After a hectic two week as with meetings and events, this week heralded a return to manuscript scrutinising and workshop preparation for October deadlines.
The Long Leg of Italy has been putting its toe in the water with a cover reveal on social media.Twitter @JustUsTwoTravel.
We settled on using red lettering for visibility against the blue skies and other colours in
the photographs.
Just a point about our travels in this latest adventure. They actually span twenty-five years - long before we started jaunting on our beloved motorbike. They started when we had only been abroad twice in our lives and that in an organised party. We travelled independently to the unknown territory of Italy and made our own way to railway stations and transfer by vaporetto and taxi to hotels. Our second trip, in reverse, took us onward to Sorrento further south, but as there was no direct train from Rome, Citalia arranged for us to join another coach they had going there. Our second visit to Sorrento was a stay      and relax and explore one, where again we were completely independent but with the comfort of a holiday representative in the hotel. When you read the book, you will understand how thankful we were for that 'cushion'.

Just a bit about the jacket photographs.

Left. Madonna di Campiglio in the Brenta Dolomites, north east Italy. 2012
Right. View of the Basilica of Santa Maria Della Salute as you come under the Accademia Bridge on the Grand Canal, Venice. 1989 or 2004.
Trulli houses in Alberobello, Puglia, (the heel of Italy) 2011

So our story truly does take you down The Long Leg of Italy. The gap in time is when we were jaunting across Europe on our Honda Gold Wing motorbike, including around the Gulf of Genoa to lake Garda and beyond. (Just Us Two: Ned and Rosie's Gold Wing Discovery. 
eBook on Kindle or Kindle apps at £2.05.

Print £8.43 on Amazon

Photographs in the eBook are in full colour and it has a different jacket to the paperback.

At £2.05 can you afford not to download this wealth of funny stories and travel information/routes etc.?

Rosalie xx

Friday, 5 September 2014

Happy First Birthday for The Regent Offices and Business Centre, Wrexham

The state-of-the-art and stylish offices and conference centre, The Regent, celebrated its first birthday this week.

The special  networking event to mark the occasion was held by the West Cheshire and North Wales  Chamber of Commerce at The Regent, 67 Regent Street, Wrexham.
Click on the link above for the full report by Debbie Stokes of the Chamber who talked to Jane Harrad-Roberts of Marketing PRojects in a 'Person Behind the Business' interview. 
The Regent. 67 Regent Street, Wrexham
As someone who has carefully followed the emergence of The Regent from a dilapidated, derelict and smelly unloved building in the heart of Wrexham to the stylish, light and airy, state-of-the-art, welcoming and much loved office and conference centre that it is today, I was pleased and proud to be at the birthday party on Wednesday. I reflected on the transformation and the road which Joanna has travelled to reach her goal.

Photo 2014 by Mako Creative Solutions Ltd.
Of course you could say that I am biased - I am Joanna's mother after all - but no-one can deny that it took Joanna's vision, creativity and tenacity to design the building layout, manage, source and procure every item  - from the kettles, wall art, colourful and modern  toilets cubicles, decor, and furniture, to digital facilities; the list goes on - and bring to fruition, this wonderful 'Space to Thrive' as Joanna has termed it.
In addition, the wonderful Victorian features have been lovingly restored, such as the leaded lights in the vestibule entrance and the tiled hallway, which marry well with the modern features.
Lets take a look now at 

Opening 2013

The Mayor and Mayoress 2013 with Ralph and Joanna Kinch of The Regent. 
Last August, the Mayor of Wrexham opened the building. In the last year the centre has played host to a variety of events with the meeting rooms - the Wilberforce and Gladstone suites -  laid out individually or opened up as one room to suit the event's individual needs.

More photos from the 2013 opening ceremony.
Stylish tea room for office tenants
Stylish tea room for office tenants.
The entrance showing a conference room.

With Simon O'Rourke - Tree Carving in the outside area.


 Today, The Regent is the location of choice for some prestigious tenants.
Full details of what The Regent has to offer with room rates etc. here.  
Also do visit The Regent Facebook page.

The website  (extract below) has full details of this state-of-the-art facility.  

Business and Conference Venue in Wrexham

Come and enjoy high quality facilities in a unique location in the historic heart of Wrexham, right on the North Wales border.
  • • Meetings, Training Events, Networking & Conferences
  • • Great acoustics and digital TV screens
  • • FREE Wireless broadband access
  • • Versatile space to suit your occasion
  • • Flexible tailored delegate packages to suit
  • • Easy access by car, rail and bus
  • • Integrated Whiteboards
  • • Refreshments and catering on request
Whether 4 or 40 people, we can cater for your meeting and conferencing needs, right here in the heart of Wrexham.

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Long Leg of Italy - Coming Soon - Coming Closer!

ISBN 978-1-908302-39-7 Paperback 15th Jan.2015
Also Kindle (15.Oct.2014),PDF,ePub.
The last week has been a busy 'design' sort of week. We finally decided - taking all comments into account - on the layout for the jacket of The Long Leg of Italy.
It will be out in paperback in January but hope to have it on Kindle by the end of October.
About the Book.

ISBN 978-1-908302-39-7
"If you have read the first in the Just Us Two series, you will know of my husband’s aversion to parties.
As our Silver Wedding Anniversary approached, he was adamant that he wasn't having a party.
“We will have a little trip,” himself decreed.
That is what he thought! He meant a little trip in the UK, not too  far from home. I, on the other hand, had
bigger fish to fry. Our wedding had been a small family affair and, being poor, we did not  go-away on honeymoon.  So, himself wanted a little trip did he?" <End>

Read on. . .
Having only travelled abroad twice in their lives, and that as part of an organised group, did not daunt Rosie. She wanted to see the world. She had dreams. Rome, Florence, Venice . . . and beyond. But was this possible? A little voice nagged at the back of her mind. With growing excitement, she plotted and planned and then went  into action. 

And so began their love affair with Italy. This intrepid couple set off on their own, Just Us Two, as they negotiated their luggage onto aeroplanes, crossed Italy by rail and enjoyed the romance of arriving in Venice by train; finding their water bus waiting to transport them the whole length Grand Canal to their hotel.  Well what is Venice but surrounded by water? Unbeknown to them, disaster awaited them at home.
They were so entranced by their adventures that they did it all again! In later years ‘Just Us Two’ seized opportunities to explore the many beautiful lakes, Alps, and Dolomites of Lombardia and the Alto-Adige of Northern Italy - venturing into Switzerland; the contrasting experiences of Adriatic villages and the rugged interior of Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria in southern Italy; the awe and wonder of standing high in Altomonte between the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas in the foot of that very long leg of Italy. . .

Coming soon on Kindle. 
And in January 2015 available in print ISBN 978-1-908302-39-7 
and ePub ISBN 978-1-908302-42-7
(Images l-r Madonna di Campiglio,Dolomites; Venice; Trulli houses in Alberobello, Puglia.) 

To end the week - or started this one -  we mosied up the motorway to Lancashire and our Gold Wing biker meeting with the Lancs and Lakes region. An excellent and lively meeting followed by lunch in the bar of the Hartwood Hall Hotel. Chorley. Lots of info for me as food for my monthly write up for the Gold Wing Owner's Club magazine. It has been a busy summer so far. Just how we like it.

Rosalie xx 

All Rosalie's titles have worldwide distribution, both on-line or from your favourite local bookseller.
eBooks are also distributed worldwide for multiple devices in:
Kindle      *pdf for Adobe Digital Editions,    and EPub formats.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Technical Challenges of Life.

With the last draft of latest travel book completed, it was time to catch up on more technical aspects of marketing and life.

The Nat Cargius Hair Experience.

Firstly though, I addressed a technical matter of another kind and paid a visit to my favourite crimper in his new salon. Well, first things first and we do have a wedding in the offing.
The Nat Cargius Hair Experience is one to savour. Unusually for most hair salons, you have Nat's undivided attention and skill from consultation through to colour application, shampoo, cut, and finish. You really do get what you pay for. Nat has been looking after my tresses for a number of years. (This time I simply said 'chop it off' and left him to it.)
We have many chats about his native Italy and my travels as he snips away to give me a style to suit my face.This time we discussed colour and the new range of fruit-based colours. So vibrant. 
(Nat has recently opened his new salon in Rossett. Being early, I was settled on a beautiful white and gold sofa in the  private consulting area for the cosmetic hair piece and custom wig specialist side of the business - Really Really me. Nat also caters for the men with traditional barbering (wet shaves) services - steam towels etc just as you see in the films.)
There is also a new Nail Bar next door so preparations for that special occasion are one-stop and no need to move the car. Yes, there is parking too!

Google Books and Google Play.

Hair sorted, I then turned to file uploads for Christal Publishing to Google Books and Google Play.
Submission guidelines and file naming extensions are specific and different for each organisation. The print books are image rich but are in grey scale (b&w); the Google preview files therefore have to show images in grey scale which meant using the print format files. The interior images in the eBooks are in rich colour; I had to use the correct eBook file with correct ISBN.
They are now all live in both Google Books with links to buy and the eBooks available in Google Play. Good stuff! There are a few processing errors though as in some instances they have put the print book price as the eBook price.
A message will be sent to Google to correct! The eBooks range from under £2.00 to around £3.50 for the more technical 'workshop-in-a-package' ones. All a bargain.
See them all here.

Amazon Search Inside.

I realised that the first three (travel and ORANGES) had been uploaded with the interior images in colour for the print books. The print formats are in grey scale so this meant a new formating session. Thank goodness for Adobe Acrobat Pro as it made it all so much easier.Again, there were different submission guidelines and file naming requirements.
After re-formatting the travel books and uploading, I uploaded the Lifelong Learning: Personal Effectiveness Guides. These are still being processed.
Checking on,(US store) to my horror I found that they had used the 1st edition of Just Us Two (2009 Author House) as the preview for the 2nd edition 2012 Christal Publishing. A polite notice explained this saying that you would get the second edition you had searched for. This was not good enough. Just Us Two: Ned and Rosie's Gold Wing Discovery 2nd Edition has a different jacket front and back, a different copyright, ISBN,different format, and back matter for links to other publications.
If the Amazon UK site can get it right. . . .
Visit my UK Amazon page  Visit my US Amazon page

I am still feeling very relaxed after a lazy Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday but needs must and I have to pop off now to see my Mum and sort one or two things out. Then it is back to a final jacket design  for The Long Leg of Italy where you can explore with Just Us Two from the borders with Switzerland and Austria at the top to the toe where it meets Sicily. Watch this space!

2nd Draft. The Long Leg of Italy jacket front.

Rosalie xx  

If you enjoy reading my chatter, you can have automatic updates through Kindle Blogs Free trial at Amazon UK  Amazon US          

Monday, 18 August 2014

A Flavour of Italy.

 A Preview Peek at The Long Leg of  ITALY.

Final draft has now been submitted to publisher for the a casting over of the gimlet eye.
What a journey it has been and an emotional one at that as we revisited our journeys over the years.

Our love affair with Italy started because 'him indoors' would not have a party for a special anniversary some years ago. 
'We will have a little trip,' He informed me.
He meant one in the UK but I had other fish to fry. A burning need to fulfil a dream glowed inside me.
After plotting and planning all one winter - before the big day - I announced,
'You want a trip for our anniversary? Well, I want to go to Rome, and if we go to Rome I want to go to Florence and Venice.' I waited with baited breath.
'I will think about it.'
A few days later he came home from work an announced that he had been talking to someone in work and that if we were going to Rome we would need a new camera.

Later, we discussed the options and so began our love affair with Italy. We had only been abroad twice at that time and those trips were an organised group travel where everything was planned.
This three-centre trip was a huge leap in the dark. We would be independent travellers. On our own. Just Us Two.

Back to the present.

Our digital photo frame is busy scrolling through photos of our southern Italy tour in 2011 to Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Ostuni, Martina Franca, Alberobello with the trulli houses (see picture top left), Trani, Altomonte,,, the list goes on. All little dots on the map. Some were not even on the map. Saga Holidays had planned well.  

St Peter's Dome. Rome
House of the Vestal Virgins. The Forums. Rome.

But we ventured first to Rome

at Easter. . . with the temperatures at 70 degrees in March! Modern technology has allowed us to scan photographs and convert to digital files.

More later. The curtain is closed for now on the little peek.

Rosalie x

Monday, 11 August 2014

Living in an oasis of calm.

Hello from Rosalie's Chatter. Have you all had a good week?

Employment first.

For the last two weeks I have been concentrating on employment, moving forward, and what is expected in the business environment. It is that time of year when exam results are not always as expected and an army of young people have to think about earning their living.
On that point, don't ignore Apprenticeships. They are a fantastic way to earn while you learn and don't forget, although you may not be paid as much as some of your peers, you are not paying for your training. At the end you will have a good qualification, bags of experience and no student debt.
Read the guest articles I wrote sometime ago for about getting that first job and how parents and family can offer support. 
There are more articles in the Feature Articles and Scribbles link in this blog. One is about Steps to Employment.It is relevant for those seeking their first job. And some results are out this week aren't they. Back into the world of work: Steps to Employment. 
Guest Feature posted in Women's Thoughts on-line magazine August 30th 2012 

My Oasis.

But enough of that. What about my oasis of calm as I bury myself in editing a manuscript?
After immersing myself in a huge spell-check session and then tackling the manual edits which my copy-edit/proof-reader found, I have once again been transported back to Italy. An an emotional journey it has been I can tell you. Our first foray to Italy was as an Independent Traveller when we had only been abroad twice and that in an organised group. I am amazed and kept thinking,among my tears, 'Did we do all this?' 
As with the first two in the Just US Two Travel series, we have chosen and prepared the photos to include at salient points in the story. All in colour in the eBook.
Constructive feedback on the first draft for the jacket cover, confirmed one of my thoughts and the jacket has been re-designed. We had more good constructive feedback yesterday so I think we are on the right track.

Another side of my oasis has been my focus on getting fit.
I am always banging on about taking control of your own learning and development. I thought it was time that I took control of my long-neglected fitness.
So, hey-ho! It was off to our local Gwyn Evans Leisure and 
Activity Centre where they had a summer special offer. At the moment I am hurrying to finish this post, as I am off to my Aquafit session shortly. Later in the week I will do a circuit of the gym followed by a gentle swim in the pool at one of the General Swim slots. The gym all came back to me from about ten years ago when I was fit from regular gym and pool sessions. Something certainly went by the board didn't it?  The pool exercises are hard work, especially the polystyrene dumb-bells. No pain, no gain though. The range of machines in the gym is amazing and apart from weight-lifting, I use all of them. My favourite is still the rowing machine which is a good stress buster. You can sort all your problems out on one of those you know. I was pleasantly surprised by the bike as I found this hard last time. Here they have a couple with a back rest which you can adjust for comfort. Great! And I can watch the TV while I pedal as the machines have little screens now plus, there is a large screen on the wall. The time soon passes. Even better I don't have to pay for the pool as I am over that special age which comes to us all - if we are lucky.

If you enjoy reading my chatter, you can have automatic updates through Kindle Blogs Free trial at Amazon UK  Amazon US

Take Care.

Rosalie xx

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Some Basic Skills for Employability. Check Your Knowledge.

Last month our first topic in this series was 'Working Effectively in the Workplace - An Employability Skill.'
You are looking for a job or promotion. You have had an interview. Did you impress the interviewer - your prospective employer? Do you have what it takes or have you failed on some basic points?

Below are some check points based on the topics in Chapter Three of Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment. They can be found at the end of the chapter.

"If you have completed all the tasks set out in this chapter properly, we can see if you have understood the lessons in the topics.
You have learned about attitude and behaviour required in the workplace; things to think about in getting to work on time; how to communicate effectively and a little about working effectively.

In Chapters One to Three we have looked at preparing for work (looking for a job and where you fit in); how to go about getting the job you want; and working effectively in the workplace. You have come a long way in a short time haven’t you?
For now . . .

Check your knowledge.

  1. What action should you take if you are delayed in getting to work?
  2. Why is personal hygiene important?
  3. Name three methods of communication.
  4. Is it acceptable to use slang or ‘text speak’ in e-mails? Y/N
  5. You have been given a task and don’t understand one of the instructions. What do you do?
  6.  Why is it important to plan what you have to do?
  7. Name two kinds of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  8. Why is it important to look at how well you did the job or task?
You will find the answers within the chapter. Now you can go back and check your knowledge 

Then it will be time to take a break before moving on to the next chapter where we will take  a brief look at ICT in the workplace—e-mail, the Internet, the basics of Excel Worksheets, health and safety when using computers—and where you go from here." Excerpt from Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment.

To read more and prepare for work or to improve your current practice follow the link here to your favourite bookseller or online retailer worldwide in Rosalie's Bookstore. Available in print, Kindle, Adobe Digital Editions *pdf and ePub for iBookstore, Kobo, Nook etc.

Have Rosalie's Chatter delivered to your Kindle or other device wirelessly with Kindle Blogs and automatic updates. Free trial.Amazon UK  Amazon US