Beach Banter #5


So I’ve been to places that were hotter than Cape Verde, and spent much more time out in the sun than I did recently – nevertheless, for the first time ever, my lips got sun burnt.  I’ve never had burnt lips before, lesson learned – stinging and sore lips for the past couple of days. In future I’ll have to get a good sunblock for my lips, since my home made shea butter and coconut oil lip balm didn’t seem to do the trick this time.

Mr Mighty

Yes, he was here in Cape Verde, in fact a beach gym had been set up for his convenience, most considerate. For the record, I’m a big fan and huge follower of Mr Mighty, his confidence and positive example of effort and commitment to health and fitness is admirable, and great to watch on a day at the beach.

Some serious weight training equipment


In Cape Verde, the sand was dusty. You will not only have grains of sand to wash off your feet, but a film of white dust on your skin as well so worth carrying some baby wipes. I never knew sand was so diverse!


The air is so dry, no rain in weeks, blazing heat. Hopefully this was a nice and refreshing treat for the birds.


For me, another pina colada….



Time For A Cuppa

Watched Bridget Jones’ Baby the other night – I didn’t realise Bridget was being played by the same actress, her face looks completely different in the film – is that prosthetics, age or surgery??

I saw a man walking down the street with his dog the other day, the dog abruptly decided to just lay down in the middle of the pavement, refusing to get up while the owner looked a little embarrassed. Perhaps the dog was protesting against being led on a lead.

This evening I stood opposite a ‘young man’ on the tube reading a book entitled ‘How to Exasperate Your Wife’, good grief!!! The guy looked about 20 years old and fully engrossed in the short chapters. What madness is this!!

Exasperate,  ‘irritate to anger’.

Why would anyone write such a book, propose such a task. Upon looking it up on Amazon, it turned out to be a self help type of relationship/marriage advice book written from a biblical perspective – so not the devious and destructive wife irritating manual I first thought it was. Moral of the story – don’t judge a book by it’s cover or title!






Time For A Cuppa’

This is where I just write whatever springs to mind whilst having a cup of tea, so it’s usually  dry random, and probably not that interesting, lol!


So we’ve had some mighty cold weather in London these past couple of weeks – the kind of days when you feel the chill go through your bones. On one of the coldest days, I encountered a man wearing a sleeveless leather jacket with tattoos all over his arms (he looked like an image from an America biker gang, thick beard, lots of leather and tough looking)  – I guess he wanted to show off his tattoos. He showed no visible signs of being cold, not a flinch, while the rest of us walked down the street huddled up in winter coats and thick scarves!! Amazing.


Some people just can’t handle the fact that you don’t agree with them, or that you dare to challenge their ideas/decisions, they reveal their insecurity by overreacting to you and becoming anally defensive. Their body language and ‘zero composure’ confirms it all – they cannot control the arms flying up and exaggerated body movements. Every response is like a defence reflex, rather than  a willingness to consider that you might actually have a point,that maybe they are not as wise as they think they are. It is also interesting that this type of person is often one who will criticise others for things that they are clearly guilty of themselves (but perhaps haven’t realised it yet). Its moment like these when I quietly remind myself that I don’t want to be one of those people.


At some point I think we all stop and realise that many people we know (close or otherwise) are going through some tough and life changing upheavals in their lives. Try to be supportive, try not to judge, try to be grateful/thankful for all the positive things you have going for yourself.


I need to track down the thin light cinnamon flavoured biscuits someone at work offered me the other day – they were deelish. I think she said they sell them in the pound shop, I’ll go looking next week.

Out Of Touch

I didn’t realise the brand ‘MissGuided’ existed offline until I walked past their shop front in Westfield the other day! The bright pink gigantic four wheel truck/jeep display was hard to ignore without looking up to see the name of the shop.

Kuoni or Ikea?

During the same ‘Westfield’ shopping trip, I almost walked straight past KUONI thinking it was some sort of minimalist furniture shop, the in-store/window display wouldn’t really help catch your eye – unless you were looking for new shelves , I thought it was Habitat or something similar.



A few Realisations and Self-Reminders

Sometimes I just have to remind myself that not everyone sees the world like I do, they don’t share my views, uphold my values or care about the things I care about, and that’s ok.

Financial independence isn’t purely about how much money you have, but how wise and forward thinking you are with it. Invest and save as much as you can, get the most out of your money, you’ll thank yourself in the long run.

Strive for quality rather than quantity as much as possible.

There will always be haters, ignore them. Just focus on positive things and positive people.

I’m allergic to Aloe Vera.

I’ve suddenly become addicted to X Files after watching a handful of episodes (seasons 1-9 are currently on the way from Amazon as we speak….terrible!). Maybe it’s just a fad and I’ll be over soon enough. We’ll see!

Without change you don’t grow, get out of your comfort zone.

Forgiveness is essential, without it you are chained to negativity.

There is no point wasting time trying to be someone you are not otherwise you’ll attract people who think you’re someone else. Be you.

In life you need a passion, something that can occupy your time, talent, and commitment without you getting tired of it. Something you can develop and build and grow into.


Fitness and healthy eating should have to be a priority. More fruit & veg is a must. Snacking on a carrot and celery while watching TV is ok, in fact the more raw fruit and veg you eat the better.

Online shopping is addictive. Be careful!

Lazy people really irritate me (though I do have my own lazy moments).

Your comfort zone is your own self-imposed prison.

Talk is cheap. Actions speak volumes.

Its ok to wear flat shoes sometimes. (lol, heels every day)

Primark is not as cheap as it used to be (can’t believe I’m saying this lol).

Its better to question than criticise, try and understand rather than dismiss.

A lot of things in life are overrated.

A lot of people in life are human leeches – don’t get ‘sucked in’.

Eat well live well.

Giving is important.

Being grateful is a tonic for the soul, recognise your blessings!







Beach Banter #4

If the cap fits!

Hmmmmm, I’m intrigued as I spot the lady with the ‘shower cap’ on her head, out in the sea, kitted out in a glamours yellow bikini.

Glam + shower cap = a whole new fashion concept.

Wonder if it’ll catch on!

When you think you’ve seen it all, well – you haven’t.

Dad the digger

Sympathies, congrats and well done all rolled into one for the wonderful dad who has spent what seems like hours on end in the full wrath of the baking sun (no shade) digging a hole in the sand with his determined and excited daughter.

Bob the Builder eat your heart out!




Bird Talk

Whilst on holiday……


Is it just me or do birds look really scary whenever you see one fly by at night. In the dark you can’t always tell what it is, is it a bird, is it a bat….or some other large thing flying past that gives you the shivers?

When in the UK I rarely sit outdoors at night for these thoughts to enter my head, but when you’re in a hot destination, the outdoor evenings are a welcome relief from the daytime heat.


There seemed to be one little bird that came up really close most mornings on my hotel balcony, looked me in the eye and waited ‘unnerved’ until I’d get up and come back with some bread, this little bird had more guts than a lot of  people.

Sweet Tooth

Then there was the tiny little bird I spied eating a lot of sugar from a breakfast table, after having worked out how to lift the metal on the cannister to get at the sugar. I wonder if birds get diabetes, I hope not.




Beach Banter #3


I’m pretty sure all the ladies have encountered a shark in the sea at some point.

No, I don’t mean the kind that have gills, fins and razor sharp teeth.

I’m talking about the less dangerous human equivalent, lurking in shallow waters, circling it’s desired target area, waiting for you to get in so they can pounce with their charming chat up lines, banking on a reduced chance of you making a quick getaway.


Beware of Coconuts

While lounging under that beautiful coconut tree, just pray a coconut does not release itself and knock you out cold or worse, as this would be most unfortunate.

Death by coconut

Yes there is hidden danger on that perfect beach.



I usually freeze a bottle of water to take out with me the next day – staying hydrated is a ‘must’ in tropical heat. sam_0682

Now don’t get me wrong, fruity cocktails and tropical drinks are delicious too, but you’ll thank yourself for the water as well.


When we’re hydrated, we feel less irritable and tired, more alert and generally healthier.


One of the best places to watch a sunset is by the ocean, the backdrop of the sea makes the view all the more exquisite.

What is it about sunsets (and the sunrise) that we never tire of watching, that mesmerises us every time, as though it was the first time wed ever seen something so beautiful?

I think Jenna Snyder puts it perfectly on her blog: 10 Reasons To Watch The Sunrise And Sunset

Jamaica, Negril
Jamaica, Negril


Only When We’re On Holiday: The Things We Do!

There are definitely a few things about us that change when we’re on holiday, (apart from reduced stress and being blissfully relaxed) and if we’re honest with ourselves, we know it.

Here are a few I think I can hold my hands up to:

  1. Talking to and smiling at strangers, because it just feels right!

  2. Not being as suspicious of strangers who start chatting away to me as though they’d known me their whole life.

  3. Wearing the brightest colours I can get my hands on.

  4. Becoming attached or overly preoccupied with the stray dog/cat (or they get attached to you).

  5. Taking pictures of trees.

  6. Eating a breakfast fit for a king, or three.

  7. Those shorts.

  8. That bikini.

  9. Feeling like everything around me is photo and video-worthy.sam_0597

  10. Sitting outside until the early hours of the morning staring at the stars, listening to the waves.

  11. Falling asleep on a hotel balcony at night.

  12. Feeling no urge whatsoever to switch the TV on.

  13. Calm acceptance of bites/stings, but any such discoveries whilst at home triggers emergency responses to a possible infestation or pandemic with intense inspections of the wound at regular intervals throughout the day, every day, until it disappears.

  14. Drinking lots of water doesn’t feel like such a chore.

  15. Clean towels twice a day and clean sheets daily are a must – all of a sudden.

  16. Fridge magnets become really interesting.

  17. Sitting outside and watching a downpour of rain, like watching a good film.

  18. Those cricket/insect type noises when you’re outdoors at night are quite relaxing – not sure I’d be saying this back in London.

  19. Feeling deeply upset about having to go home.

  20. Shells become a serious collectors item.


Beach Banter #2

The Joys of Sand

No matter how hard you try, you will absolutely always find grains of sand in your bag or in something on your person by the end of the day and the end of your holiday.

Sand grains may be small but they are mightlily persistent, they just won’t let go!

If you wear anything lycra (most swimwear), there will always be random bits of sand lodged into the fabric well after you’ve washed it.

Sand always finds it’s way across the Atlantic, Pacific, or whatever ocean you’re travelling over, and back to your home sweet home.

If sand was a person, you would definitely want them on your team 😉

Pigeon Point, Tobago

Life Guards

Well don’t they just have one of the most leisurely looking jobs – at least while stationed on a hot tropical beach.

Spending their days on the beach, admired as the hero in waiting.

Mingling with and working their charm on unsuspecting sunbathers, offering to chaperone the ladies on a night out.

People watching while sipping cool drinks, watching the waves.

The bliss of sea breezes and sound of the waves to pass the day.

Perks of the job!

Nice work!



20 Enriching Things Worth Doing Whilst On Holiday


  1. Go on organised excursions to learn more about your destination, stretch beyond the limits of your resort.
  2. If you have a room with a view, order a meal to your room and eat out on the balcony.
  3. Keep a journal of your travels, thoughts, experiences to reflect back on in the future.

    Keep a journal
  4. Get up early to watch/photograph the sunrise and appreciate the area you are in,  before the hustle and bustle begins.
  5. Buy your souvenirs from local people, street sellers etc rather than big store chains – give back to the needier local people rather than already flourishing businesses.
  6. Eat in small locally run restaurants.
  7. Purposefully try new foods and drinks.
    sam_0328Soursop juice
  8. Try a new activity, step out of your comfort zone.
  9. If you drive, hire a car and explore.
  10. Hire a driver to give you a customised day tour.
  11. Go out and explore using local public transport, see how the other half live, try and blend in to experience it more. 
  12. Schedule in days to just lounge around, read a book, people watch, basically rest.
  13. Go for a long walk, explore your surroundings at your leisure.
  14. Talk to locals, learn about their culture and how they live, their insight is better than any guide book and will leave them feeling somewhat valued rather than overlooked by tourists.
  15. Buy a local newspaper and immerse yourself.
  16. Leave a surprise gift/thank you card for your housekeeping staff.
  17. Wherever you happen to be, make an effort to watch the sunsets.
  18. Make time to reflect on what you have left behind at home and any changes to work on when you return.
  19. Try and come away knowing at least a couple of key pieces of history about the country or place you are staying in.
  20. Remember how fortunate you are to be able to fly across the world to be on that beach, in that city, on that hillside, walking through that village etc, while many of the local people around you might only dream of doing this one day. Travel makes you humble, if your heart is right. sam_0422Click here for Bloglovin’ link

Beach Banter #1

Mr Mighty

So we’ve probably all spotted one of these at some point or another.

Mr Mighty relishes in having a captive audience readily waiting along the entire beach strip, he flexes his muscles repeatedly before carrying out some very focused stretches.

Mr Mighty simply must show you the extent of his physical prowess by doing pushups, squats, beach laps and olympic lengths in the ocean, while the sun scorches down relentlessly. The show must go on….


Beach Neighbours

Why is it that that without even trying, you somehow find yourself next to the same people on the beach today that you were next to on a completely different beach yesterday. Please don’t think we’re following you, we are not stalking you.

It’s Rude to Stare

When all the white/yellow crabs start popping up all around you, as though playing some strange game of beach peekaboo, leaving you squinting a little to double check you are not seeing things and that those were definitely a pair of little black eyes staring at you, whilst the crab’s body seems almost invisible as it blends into the sand.

Crabs must be either the most patient creatures on the beach or the angriest. Why? Well we are constantly trampling their well dug out tunnel entrances, leaving them having to dig another one over and over again, no wonder they’re not very friendly.


Click here for Bloglovin’ link


Monday Motivation

Standing tall with confidence

Aiming high

Well poised

Commanding attention

Beautifully presented

Following the right direction

Leading the way

Moving forward

No turning back

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA photo I took in Jamaica 


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Not A Morning Person? A Few Morning Tips To Get You Out of The House Quicker

Getting Up


If you struggle getting up in the morning you might need a new sleep/diet/exercise routine…..maybe.

Try to get a good night’s sleep, even if it means gong to bed earlier and developing a new evening wind down routine.

That aside, leave your alarm somewhere that is not within arms reach of your bed, so you are forced to ‘get out’ of bed to switch the thing off in the morning. The furthest side of the room away from you is preferable.

Failing that, get a scary alarm clock like this one – your screams will wake you up immediately (and everyone else in the house), with no going back.

This is not my alarm clock – just for the record!!  Source

If you are always running late then quite frankly you need to set your alarm  and clocks around the house (and mobile phone) faster than the actual time (depending on how late you tend to be). You’ll soon forget they are ahead of time and begin marvel in astonishment as you end up being earlier for things than you excepted.


Set two alarms for each morning,  in case you decide to ignore the first one.



As soon as you get out of bed, put some music on, or programme it to come on at a certain time if you’re that sophisticated (not too loud though – we don’t want to fall out with all the neighbours), and once you’re showered, plug in your earphones and turn up the volume. Fast music makes you move faster (it can also lead to excessive dancing in the mirror and losing track of time – so try and stay focused).

Get on down

Pre-select your attire

I would always roll my eyes whenever I thought of this in the past, ‘got better things to do with my evenings than think about anything to do with work’ but it will really save you  precious time – at least some of the time anyway.

Check the weather forecast the night before (BBC Weather online is good), and then bearing in mind what you have planned the next day (meetings, lunch dates, shopping, the dentist etc…) lay out a couple of outfits to choose from in the morning. This should include everything from underwear to accessories, handbag, belt, brolly, purse etc and make sure you iron whatever needs ironing.


Keep all the things you need for getting ready all in one place/box/drawer, and make sure everything is in there the night before:

  • Comb/brush
  • Hair products & accessories
  • Make up & moisturisers
  • Clothes brush
  • Fragrance


No No No!!!

If time is very tight in the morning, make yourself a sandwich the night before and grab it out of the fridge in the morning – for breakfast!

A photo by Anna Dziubinska.
Then off to work you go…..hi ho hi ho hi ho hi ho…..

Jokes aside, some of these tips might just make a difference to your morning routine – for the better.

Feel free to share yours. x

Should Schools Put Tracking Devices in Students’ ID Cards?

In response to an old New York Times article: 

Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 20.21.52


Although this article isn’t about UK schools, it’s still worth pondering on.

Isn’t it true that absenteeism from school, playing truant, involvement in antisocial and delinquent behaviour  are all well known reoccurring problems with school aged teens.

Youth workers, social workers, education welfare officers, youth offending officers, teachers, the police and all manner of professionals working with young people could gladly confirm this.

But then how are school students any different from delinquent adults or skivers from work? We all knowingly make our own choices, then face the consequences, isn’t that is our ‘human right’, the liberty of free will.

Should students need to be located to confirm they are indeed safe and well as a result of an incident, (e.g. a building evacuation) then in principle, this measure can only prove helpful.

ID cards (to my knowledge) are not routinely used as a tracking device (perhaps in very high security work places), it’s quite common for people to leave ID badges on their desks whilst having a natter in the kitchen, going to the loo or nipping out for a cigarette (if the reception staff are familiar and relaxed about buzzing people in) – it all depends on the ethos in your workplace; furthermore, not all work places require that you wear an ID badge or operate a swipe system for every member of staff it’s all a bit ad hoc.

Not all schools require students to wear ID (in fact hardly any that I can recall),  they still adhere to the traditional ‘call out each name’ registration system, but in further education colleges, ID cards become standard procedure.

Parents might welcome a tracking chip, given the climate of fear within the media at present (missing persons, street violence). If schools share tracking information with parents and authorities, it could help in confirming whether a student has returned home safely each evening, and their possible whereabouts at the time of any questionable incidents. Surely this would be a good thing…

On the flip side, lost ID cards, forgotten ID cards, ID cards falling into the wrong hands, students swapping or stealing another students’ ID card (for wrong use) would cast doubt on the value of any data gathered from them, since they do not categorically prove individual whereabouts, that said, they would probably play a helpful part in some cases.

Lost or stolen cards could be cancelled and reissued as with any other card type (travel, credit, bank, retail points, discount cards etc).

Most students have smart phones, which have pretty much the same technological capability to track the owner – not much different from having a chipped ID card really, apart from the fact that schools have a duty of care to safeguard their students as much as possible and this would help enhance that effort.

I guess the question I’m left with, is ‘how much damage could this ID card do, on balance?’ Not much really, just the increased feeling of being watched, but with good reason, by the right people. I’ve picked up a few dropped ID cards in the past and posted sent them back to the colleges in question, in most cases students have to purchase a replacement in order to re-enter the building so the old card is void by the time they get it back.

Despite my overall feeling, I definitely keep an open mind on things of this nature. Technology can become dangerous if it goes wrong, or is abused in some way. The bottom line is being able to feel you can trust those individuals who have access to students’ tracking data, to use it in the best interests of young people.




Time for a cuppa!


Hmmm, so we’re in for another heatwave that’s set to last most of August, sounds good. Ironically, the autumn/winter ranges are starting to make a bold appearance in most high street stores. Great time for some summer bargains!! 🔆

It’s a hard gamble waiting for clothes to go down in the sales, by the time the price goes down they run out of your size. Typical. If you ‘really really really’ like something, can’t find anything else like it, can’t stop thinking about it ( can afford it) and have super strong intent to wear it anytime soon, buy it. 👗👔

Celebrity Big Brother #CBB kicked off last week, I must admit I’m quite curious to see how the ‘mob wife’ fares in such a potentially psychotic environment, so yes I will be watching, I need to play catch up as I haven’t tuned in since the initial ‘watching them all go into the house’ episode. 📺

Dropped the plug of my iron in a bowl of water the other day. Clever. Bought a new one, but it’s so annoying having to spend money on something when you know you shouldn’t have needed to. More annoying than that is the whole Argos ‘in-store’ experience, the slow moving disorganised queue with people trying to jump in, not to mention the array of confused faces looking up and around at the collection point , while you wonder what on earth is taking so long with your item (maybe they should have a cafe area with some soothing music, where you can sit and have a drink while you wait for you call out). 😤

I’m much more of an online shopper at heart, and you don’t really get to see/touch things before you buy them in Argos anyway so you might as well order online and avoid the craziness. 🚚

Oh and the cashier that served me made a really big deal about loving my necklace, and then asked if I was on my way to a party  (approx 5pm in the afternoon) lol.   I said  “erm no, just  standard ‘day in the office’ attire “ #worldapart 😊

Every lady knows that a statement necklace goes a long way with a simplistic top and skirt. 💁

Cringe of the week was the guy on the tube clipping his fingernails one by one. Not something that should be done in public, (whatever next) though I guess at least he looked better groomed for wherever he was going and in this case, credit to his “don’t care who’s looking or what anyone thinks” mentality. No harm done, he put his clippings in a tissue and took them with him.😏







Pedestrian Rage

So maybe the term isn’t so common yet but pedestrian rage is definitely a ‘thing’, I see it every day in London.

Tutting, huffing and puffing at slow moving buggy pushers, the five friends who walk side by side taking up the entire width of the pavement, the sound of an irritable voice clearing it’s throat purposefully in your ear (presumably a euphemism for I’d like to get passed please), oh and the classic evil glare from pedestrian to driver where the driver fails to indicate on a corner.

urban-438393_640 Source

I see people dodging traffic, daring drivers ‘not to slow down for them while the traffic lights are still green’.

Then there are the rushers, darting around like there’s no tomorrow, you are always in ‘their way’ it would seem; admittedly there have been occasions where I’ve longed for a fast path/lane for pedestrians on Oxford Street, and a slow lane for the more leisurely or sight seeing orientated pedestrian.  Speaking of which, I hear there is talk of pedestrianising Oxford Street – a brilliant idea.

Now don’t get me started on the cyclists who miraculously decide they are also pedestrians when the green man appears at the crossing.

Then there are those moments when pedestrians do what I call the ‘which way dance’ where both choose the same side of the pavement thinking the other person will choose the other, both bopping from left to right, sometimes its funny, sometimes not. Worse still, the pedestrians who have firmly decided they will not ‘give way’ and refuse to budge an inch to let another walk by.

Pedestrian rage is real.




What I Love About Summertime



  1. The smell of freshly cut grass on a hot day.
  2. The heat from the sun on my skin.
  3. Ice cold drinks taste so much better.
  4. Waking up to the sun pushing it’s way into the bedroom.
  5. The breeze through the window.
  6. The breeze through light clothing.
  7. The birds sound all the more melodious.
  8. The smell of chargrilled barbeques.
  9. Long evenings.
  10. The sound of ice cream van melodies.
  11. Everyone makes more of an effort to wear nicer, brighter, more colourful clothes.
  12. Seeing people just sitting outside looking relaxed for a change.
  13. Everyone looks ‘cooler’ than usual with trilby hats, sunglasses etc…
  14. Eating way more fruit and salad than usual.
  15. People going off on the holidays while I make my winter getaway plans.
  16. The ‘sales’ if I’ve got the time and patience to rummage.
  17. Dresses that blow behind you in the breeze as you walk.
  18. Wearing bright orange without looking ‘tango-ed’.
  19. Day trips.
  20. Straw bags.
  21. Pegging the washing out.
  22. Eating outdoors.
  23. Music sounds better.
  24. Everyone looks happier.
  25. Buying more flip flops.
  26. A good thunderstorm!

Summertime Dislikes:

  1. Being stuck in the office
  2. Not enough fans in the office
  3. The occasional sneezing fit
  4. Spending more than usual on clothes (the sun does this to me!)
  5. Everywhere is busier when the sun’s out (shopping/queues etc)
  6. Wasps
  7. Being stuck in traffic
  8. Being stuck on public transport
  9. When the supermarket ice-cream/ice lolly shelves are empty