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Hello Darlings,

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Life, Money / Finances, Paganism, Shopping, Thinking, TransportationNo Comments

Hello Darlings,

Recently my life has been so hectic. Here’s most of the things I’ve been doing since I last blogged:

I’ve challenged a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPA) that was issued on my car by the local Council. The local Council had wrote to me and asked me to move my car from my private resident car parking space to their carpark for a community event. I did as they requested. They day after the event my car had been issued with a FPA.

I had a spring clean in my bedroom, throwing out 6 bin bags, mostly filled with clothes that don’t fit anymore. I listed 3 suits on Gumtree. They’re practically like new having only be worn once or twice each. I like a new suit for job interviews ideally, but some of the times, I’ve had to buy a new suit due to putting on weight in the years between interviews. There has been a lack of interest on Gumtree, so I’m thinking of seeing if a local homeless charity wants them for their clients.

The UK Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) has changed the process for revalidation. Every 3 years, Nurses (such as myself) and Midwives are required to revalidate. Previously the process was to complete a form confirming that you had done the number of practice and learning hours required. Now we are required to:

  1. Complete a practice log to demonstrate completion of the required number of practice hours (450 hours for a Nurse such as myself).
  2. Complete a Continued Professional Development (CPD) log to demonstrate completion of 35 hours of CPD.
  3. Collect 5 pieces of Practice-related feedback.
  4. Writeup 5 reflective accounts.
  5. Have a documented discussion with another NMC Nurse or Midwife.
  6. Declaration of anything that could impair your fitness to practice.
  7. Declaration that you have have the appropriate indemnity insurance cover.

Here’s a video about NMC revalidation:

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So I have been doing some work to collect my evidence for revalidation. I have mixed thoughts about the new revalidation process. Overall I think that it is a good process, but with a few problems that could have been solved if the NMC had thought it through properly. These few problems for me are:

Firstly I think it should have been phased in, so all Nurses and Midwives should have used the old revalidation form and been informed to start collecting the data above for their next revalidation. I’m lucky as I keep paper diaries with details of my working hours. But if a Nurse or Midwife had been using an organisation’s electronic calendar and moved organisations in the last three years, he/she might be unable remember what hours they worked before switching organisations. Same goes for CDP.

Secondly it is very bureaucratic. This is not a problem for Nurses or Midwives that work in the community and can organise their diary to allow time for the revalidation process. But for Nurses or Midwives on busy hospital wards or departments, it is likely they will spend the many hours required to complete the paperwork in their own time. It is also likely that Nurses and Midwives will see it as a purely bureaucratic exercise, so not put the effort into revalidation that the NMC wants. I think it would be better if there were less forms to complete. For example, the NMC could require 3 pieces of practice-related feedback and 3 written reflective accounts, instead of 5 each.

Thirdly I think it’s important to mention money. Nurses and Midwives have to pay £120 per year to maintain their registration. Regardless of their income or level within an organisation. My registration date is the 24th September, but they want all of my revalidation paperwork in and the £120 paid by the 1st September. Moving the date that the payment is required is important because it means that I am paying £120 for closer to 11 months of registration rather than 12 months.

Fourthly the NMC should allow Nurses and Midwives to pay their registration fees up to and on their date of registration expiry. I also think it’s about time that they charge different rates of fees depending on the Nurses or Midwives NHS band of pay. I wouldn’t mind paying more so that junior Nurses pay less.

I’ve given some feedback to my good friend Steve on his novel manuscript. I’ve still got more to read and more feedback to give, but we had to pause the process due to me being so busy.

I took my car (see A Flashy New Car – Olly, The Citroen DS3) for a service and MOT at Halfords. Unfortunately it needed quite a lot of work doing, so it was a costly trip to the garage.

There’s been a few good job opportunities on NHS Jobs. I applied for two jobs and got interviews for both of them. The first job I was beat because the person who got the job had an addition 5 years experience than me. I asked for feedback and they told me that I did a superb interview. They said that there was nothing that I couldn’t have done any better. That they’d had to make the decision they did purely because the other candidate had more experience. They encouraged me to continue applying for jobs in the field and explained that had the candidates been different that I would have got the job hands down.

The second job I attended the interview, scored the highest, the managers wanted me and argued for two days with HR. HR didn’t want me to be recruited because I had no qualification in mental health. I have the experience but because I’m a Children’s Nurse rather than a Mental Health Nurse, in the end, HR wouldn’t let me be recruited. Again I asked for feedback and again they said there was nothing I could have done better and they encouraged me to keep applying. They stated that I would get eventually get a job in children and young people’s mental health services and that they hoped it would be in their service, as I would be an asset to any service that I joined.

I treated myself to some Witchy goodies:


I ordered a small Dorothy Morrison Wickedly Wonderful Magical Mystery Package before the end of May and got these. Wakin’ The Dead candle and room spray for ancestor work and Forever Mine candle, room spray and oil to bring an endless love into my life. Kindly sold and dispatched by The Angry Cauldron. If you want learn more about the mystery packages, see my blog post here. But be aware that they were only being sold throughout the month of May.


I also bought a Limited Edition Rich Bitch candle and Limited Edition Rich Bitch oil.

Dorothy Morrison has done brilliantly at selecting the right things for each of the three Wickedly Wonderful Magical Mystery Packages I’ve ordered. In this small package photoed above, I’ve got stuff for ancestor work – something that I really need to work on. She’s also sent me Forever Mine love magic products. My love life is a neglected area of my life and something I need to work on. So thank you and well done on selections Dorothy Morrison.

I’ve started casting spells and spell crafting again, after over 5 years of doing nothing. This is because I’ve been inspired by Dorothy Morrison’s products, which have been sent from the USA to the UK by the people at The Angry Cauldron.

I’ve spent time with my gorgeous bengal cats Dylan and Russell. I haven’t shared any photos of them on here for a while, so here’s a photos of them both:


My bengal cat Russell Cat Naps.


My bengal cat Dylan surveys his kingdom.

I’ve seen various family and friends who’ve had birthday’s or have at least sent them out a card.

I’ve attended a range of annual diabetic health appointments including: podiatry, retinopathy screening and an review with my Practice Nurse and GP. Prior to seeing the Practice Nurse and GP I had a fasting blood test. My cholesterol is high, so I’ve been started on statins. Statins to me are associated with people much older than I am, but seen as I have Type 1 diabetes, if statins can bring my cholesterol down they will also bring my blood sugars down. So it’s all good.

A few months ago I woke up with a painful left knee, groin, right shoulder and arm. As the days past the groin, shoulder and arm all got better but the knee didn’t. I ended up going to my GP for stronger painkillers, got referred to a Specialist and have just recently had a MRI scan on my knee. I think it’s probably cartilage damage, but am awaiting an appointment with the Specialist to find out.

The extra painkillers and statin have caused me to write up a drug regimen, so I don’t forget to take any tablets and I’ve just recently ordered a Colourful 7 Day 3 Times In-a-day Rainbow Pill Box to help make remembering to take everything at the right times easier.

I’ve been doing a Contraception module at Uni. Last weekend despite the good weather, I figuratively chained myself to my Mac to write the case study assignment. After editing the assignment over a few evenings, I have now submitted it online. I have till the 20th June to complete my clinical placement portfolio and submit it online.

I recently wrote via email to a private company to express an interest in working for them. By chance they were just about to advertise a Nurse vacancy and said they’d add me to the distribution list. The email came through late this week. Although it sounds like a lovely place to work the job just isn’t well enough paid.

After being told by several members of my family how good ALDI is in terms of price and quality, I decided to give it a go. The food is of a good quality and much fresher than the bigger supermarkets. I’m buying the same things I always buy, but saving around a third on my food shop. Plus ALDI is smaller so I am in and out quicker and I tend to buy much less on impulse.

Having decided to build up my collection of essential oils and because the box I was using to store them in was full, I went looking for a new box to keep them in. I tried searching everywhere online that I could think of (including ebay, Amazon, Etsy & Google Shopping). I searched using every combination of search terms I could think of, loosing count of the number of searches I did. I was looking for a wooden red chest type box to match my other two boxes. But I had no luck.

So I decided that I needed some magical help. I cleaned up the hallway (where it was to go) and used Dorothy Morrison’s Witched Witchin’ Oil and Dorothy Morrison’s Puttin’ on the Witch Oil to draw the box outline on the floor and visualised the box being there in as much detail as possible. A few hours later I stumbled across this lovely box on my first search on ebay for the bargain price of under £10 with delivery:


My new red wooden essential oils chest (1), which was a bargain at under £10 with postage.


My new red wooden essential oils chest (2).

So my darlings, please forgive the lack of blogging recently. As you will know if you’ve managed to read all this post, my life has been super hectic. I’m hoping it will start to quieten down in the next few weeks and then I’ll have more time to blog.

Write soon,



I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:

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Creative Writing: End

By Creativity, ThinkingNo Comments

Inkwell & Quill. (Image Copyright: Sye Watts/Antony Simpson.)

This is the third and final part in a blog post series, where I’ll be sharing some of what I’ve learned about creative writing over the last few years. The first blog post in the series was Creative Writing: Beginning and the second blog post in the series was Creative Writing: Middle.

1. Carry a Notebook for Ideas
Ideas often come at the strangest of times and in the strangest of places. I’ve had ideas come to me in the bath and had to jump out, dripping wet, to write them down. So be prepared. Carry a notebook with you everywhere that you go. Keep one on your bedside table. Any ideas you get, good, bad or neither, just write them down. It might be a plot, or a character, or a location. The idea might not be fully formed. It doesn’t matter. Just write it down.

2. NEVER Delete Anything
Never delete anything that you write. Save everything. One day, you might want to go back to it. Even if you don’t continue where you left off, but instead start the creative work again with a completely different angle. You’re going to need the original beginnings.

3. Editing Checklist
Most writers spend more time editing than they do writing. It is advisable to click Save As… and save another version of your work with every edit, so that if you want to go back you can. Here’s my editing checklist:

Unticked Box First Read Aloud. Any sentences that you struggle to read or make sense of usually need further work.
Unticked Box Check for appropriate use of capitalisation, commas, semicolons, full stops and speech marks.
Unticked Box Check for typos.
Unticked Box Grammar and Spelling Check.
Unticked Box Cut Overwriting & Repetitions.
Unticked Box Re-write sentences that don’t make sense or are unclear.
Unticked Box Second Read Aloud. Any sentences that you struggle to read or make sense of usually need further work.
Unticked Box Consistency Checks: Tense, Perspective, Description, Characters and Plot.
Unticked Box Consider plot and pacing. Are there any plot holes? Is the pacing of scenes, chapters or even the whole work to slow, to fast or about right?
Unticked Box Third Read Aloud. Any sentences that you struggle to read or make sense of usually need further work.
Unticked Box Put the work away for a few weeks, then go back to it and start the editing checklist again. A break from a creative project gives you distance and allows you to spot mistakes or problems that you didn’t see in the original writing or editing stages because you were to close to the work.

Here is another more technical editing checklist: Grammar Girl’s Editing Checklist.

4. Reader Feedback
Reader feedback is great. But you have to be open to any constructive criticism about your creative work. If you ask friends or family to read your work, ensure that you have a relationship with them that allows complete honesty. Ensure that this honesty doesn’t damage your relationship. I read a good friend’s creative work on a regular basis, as he does mine, and we are completely honest in our feedback. We can do this because we both know that the feedback we give and receive is given with kindness, and is aimed at helping one another to create the best work that we can.

You should always appreciate and appraise reader feedback from any source. Appreciate that someone has taken the time to read your work and give feedback. People who give feedback are often working on their own creative projects. They have taken time out of their creative work to give you feedback on yours.

You don’t need to agree on all the points that they raise, or change everything that they suggest needs changing. You are the creator of your own work, so use your own judgement. But consider the feedback, especially if you are getting the same feedback from several different sources.

Some Writers come together in local Writers groups to get feedback on their creative work. These days there are probably some Writers groups online. Some Writers find these groups useful, others don’t. The best way to see if this works for you is to give it a try.

5. Publishing Options
You can send your work to agents and publishers. To the larger presses or smaller independent ones. You can self-publish on Amazon and even get your self-published printed on demand (POD). I don’t have loads of knowledge about publishing or the experience to advise. All I would say is people with little or no experience manage to get their work published all the time.

6. Promoting Your Work
Some great ways to promote your work include:

  • Get a good book cover designed. Book covers are the first thing people see about your work. A good book cover design can make the difference between people buying your creative work or not.
  • If you’re writing the blurb on the back cover, make sure it is written in a way that sells your creative work.
  • Use social media. Facebook, Twitter, goodreads and Instagram as a minimum.
  • Approach appropriate bloggers, vbloggers and ask them to read & review your creative work.
  • Send copies of your work to appropriate News Paper Entertainment Columnist, Magazine Writers, other Authors, etc. requesting they read & review your work.
  • Attend literacy events and be involved with the literacy community (both locally and online).
  • Do interviews with anyone that is willing to interview you.
  • Try and be in the Media: TV, Radio, News Papers & Magazines. Even if it isn’t directly about your creative work, you’d be surprised how many people will see, hear or read what you say/write and go on to seek out your creative works.
  • Do readings.
  • Contact local libraries, book stores, etc and arrange signings and/or readings.
  • Encourage people to write Amazon Reviews.
  • Have a book Giveaway – people love the opportunity to win something.
  • Hire a Marketing Company, there are many out there that specialise in the PR and marketing of books.

7. Some Great Books About Creative Writing & Publishing

Write soon,


I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:

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