Monday, 24 December 2018

The Inspiration for ORANGES: A Journey

An incident between my mother and I when I was a little a little girl.

This incident fired my imagination and, along with other incidents in my life, inspired my dreams of travel to distant lands. Certainly a dream as travel in those days was quite rare for a little girl growing up in the damp and cold Lancashire town. Eventually, I wove my later travels into this story. The initial jacket front cover was taken in Antequera, Andalucia where Orange trees flanked each side of the street with ripening oranges in November, while the back (print) is a photograph taken in Marbella to the West of Malaga. The second and current jacket cover was taken in Nerja, Andalucia - East of Malaga- which we have visited many times in winter.The front in the main Plaza and the back cover(Print) near the famous Balcon de Europa. The streets and Plazas are profuse with ripening orange trees in Winter. 
An excerpt:



The little girl sat at the table, carefully unwrapping the fruit she held in her hand. (She loved grocery day when the fruit was delivered to her mother.) In her hand she held a small orange, savouring the time when she would peel the skin away, and then, taking the juicy fruit piece by piece, pop the segments into her mouth and wait for the burst of juice to explode as her teeth bit into the flesh. Sometimes the oranges were so juicy that the juice ran down her chin and she had to catch it quickly before it stained her dress but sometimes, the pieces were tiny enough to eat in one go.

Gently, the little girl unwrapped the orange, carefully smoothed the creases out of the paper. Not all oranges were wrapped in paper and she loved to choose one that was – they were special – so that she could read the labels and dream of faraway places. (She already knew that bananas came from the other side of the world.) This wrapper was made of flimsy white tissue paper. In the middle, there was a coloured circle with lots of foreign words around the inside but she could just make out the word ‘Valencia’. In the middle of the circle were funny pictures.

‘Mummy, where is Valencia?’ the little girl asked the lady standing nearby.
‘It is in Spain, Charlotte, where the sun nearly always shines.’ Charlotte’s mother smiled gently and went back to her housework.

Charlotte slipped from the table and settled on the rug by the fire, which gave off a welcoming glow as it blazed in the grate. She had been poorly for a few days and had not been well enough to go to school. 
Charlotte was a quiet shy little girl who was over-awed by her family. They were so clever and she always felt that she was not as bright as they were. With her dark straight hair and brown, almost black, eyes she had a promise of hidden depths and beauty to come. Her mother had loving warm arms and Charlotte looked forward to that special time after the mid-day meal when her mother took a rest for an hour. Charlotte would climb onto her knee, cuddle up, and, feeling so safe, go to sleep. Usually when she awoke, her mother was still asleep after her hard morning’s work. At times like this, Charlotte quietly went into her dream world. . . ." The story starts in the east of Central Portugal.

Chapter One – Dreams
Chapter Two – The Estoril Coast in Portugal
Chapter Three – Disaster in the Hills
Chapter Four – Sintra
Chapter Five – An Unexpected Encounter
Chapter Six – Lisbon
Chapter Seven – On a Cloud to Andalucía
Chapter Eight – Granada and the Alhambra Palace
Chapter Nine – Antequera
Chapter Eleven – A Hair-Raising Adventure
Chapter Twelve – The Valle de Lecrin
Chapter Twelve – Almuñécar
Chapter Thirteen Las Alpujarras and Sierra Nevada
Chapter Fourteen – Contrasts of Nerja and Malaga
Chapter Fifteen – A Taste of the High Life
Chapter Sixteen – Gibraltar
Chapter Seventeen – More Flavours of Nerja
Chapter Eighteen – The Awakening

About ORANGES: A Journey:
ORANGES: A Journey is a contemporary fiction, with a hint of romance, built on a dream.
It reflects Marsh’s love of adventure, travel and what she calls ‘sunshine lands’. 
From the book back:
"Falling asleep, Charlotte’s dreams take her into the future where with her friend Daisy they find themselves in Portugal. After their escapades in the remote hills near Obidos, they later explore the coast and mountains of Andalucía in the winter sunshine of southern Spain.
Does Charlotte find oranges?  
Who is the handsome Portuguese Senhor?
And are they really dreams? . . .  
Or reality?"

About Rosalie Marsh:
Award-winning author Rosalie Marsh writes on a variety of topics. Her illustrated biographical Just Us Two travel series and illustrated Lifelong Learning career-based, user-friendly, workbooks draw from her extensive life and work experiences.

What readers say.
 “You successfully weave the inner life of your heroine with the outside world, which cannot be easy to do.” Amazon reader. France.
“Wonderful story that takes the reader to the heart of the place that Rosalie Marsh loves so much.” Jean Mead. Author.

“Look out for this author, she is a rising talent. Read her other book on two older folks travelling on a motorbike so she is one to watch.” Haydn Jones. Amazon

…superb setting.” Amazon reader.

“A gifted author who can bring her travels books alive. She has a wonderful sense of the ridiculous and her style as a raconteur means that the reader feels she is talking personally.” Judith Sharman. Director Judith Sharman et al.
End of Year Sale in the Smashwords eBook Store 

December 25th - January 1st 2019. Click the link to download in multiple formats for most reading devices (iPad,Android,PC,Kindle,PDF etc.)

ORANGES: A Journey Not $4.99  **FREE  ( Fiction)
Other illustrated biographical Just Us Two travel series with 75% discount 
All illustrated Lifelong Learning Personal Effectiveness Guides with 75% discount

Happy reading and travelling..

Rosalie Marsh


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

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