Guest Post: Carol Ann Taylor

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I am very pleased to feature British blogger and cookery writer Carol Taylor, who now lives in Thailand. This is her story of how she came to live there.
Carol is a great member of our blogging community, and is always fully engaged with blog posts.

This is her own bio.

My Bio
Born in the Fifties which makes me?.mmm I will let you do the math. I was the eldest of three girls and the tomboy….my sisters loved dolls and pushing other peoples babies up and down the street…I still ask myself why?? I much preferred climbing trees, camping out and spending all my school holidays on my granddad’s farm…My grandmother taught me how to cook on her aga and I suppose that was where my love of cooking started…Singing in the church choir was also a passion of mine as is playing the piano.

I was an avid reader and writer even then, my school teachers must have really cringed as I used to write pages and pages…I sometimes wish I still had my school books but I think they must have just got thrown away at some point …As I grew older my aunt suggested I keep a diary and I still do to this day …Leaving school for college but I never really settled or found anything that I really wanted to do except write and my father did not consider that to be a job. He really just thought girls got married and had babies so I did.

In between bringing up our children my husband passed away and also some close family members and I lost two very dear friends who I still miss terribly, I completed a marathon all 26.2 miles with two of my daughters. Learning beckoned again and back to college I went to do Law…I just love learning and researching and of course, writing. I also met my second husband who humours me …He has always been very supportive of anything I have done and is a great dad to my kids. The children grew up and took their own very successful paths in life and now have families of their own…Life has a habit of just carrying on, doesn’t it?

Retirement then beckoned for my hubby and of course, I was getting pretty disillusioned with the rat race so decided I would take early retirement.
That was when we decided to not only think outside the box but throw it away and now we are enjoying life in the Land Of Smiles.

I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them. I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I am using have which may improve our health and well-being.

I am also very much into the environment and am concerned about our Oceans and fisheries and about all the preservatives and processed foods and am an advocate about cooking from scratch and growing our own food where or when we can even a few pots or a window box for herbs is a start.
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Link to my Blog https://carolcooks2.com

And here is her unedited guest post.

Retired In Sunny Thailand.

How did I end up In sunny Thailand?…all my life I lived mainly in the same house in the same town and did what was expected of me working in a bank and then for local government…I was good at what I did we holidayed in some lovely places for quite a few years it was Spain until sadly my best friend passed away…we then spread our wings a little and travelled to a few far away climes all very nice but not home… We thought about retirement on and off but never made any great plans… Maybe a nice little cottage with roses around the door… My youngest son then announced he was off to Thailand…why Thailand it was all to do with the world cup…Football… He came back full of his trip and announced he would be returning as he had met a young lady… The photos he showed us were of beautiful beaches and golden Buddhas…It looked exotic and very beautiful.

The relationship progressed and visas sorted and out he went again with the aim of returning to England with his lady and to get married the next year…The Thai Embassy had other ideas and advised them it would be much easier to get a visa if they married…Which is exactly what they did …The visa followed… They returned to the UK and settled down it was then that I got my first taste of authentic Thai food and discovered how many Thai girls also lived locally …I was also taught how to cook Thai food and became very good at it…I also loved it!

It was that year we travelled to Thailand with our son and his wife, two of our young grandsons to meet the Thai family…It was love from the minute I landed on Thai soil…

We loved every minute …that holiday was followed by a few more and then Aston arrived…That changed everything as my son and his wife decided they were going to make their home in Thailand so that Aston could both learn the language and all of his heritage… It was then that we decided we would up sticks and also follow them…Hubby had just retired and I took early retirement… I went from being …well I can never say I was the quiet retiring type …haha…but a whole new world opened up and we have moved more times within Thailand than I have ever moved in my whole life and I daresay we will move again at some point.

I joined a writers group quite by chance…I have always been an avid reader and loved to write mainly letters and in my diaries…but blog and write …no…In the words of one of my new friends in the group “Oh my Buddha what have we released”

I started my blog as a way of recording our travels for family and friends and the writing followed on with some short stories in two anthologies…
Initially we lived in Phuket for 5 years and ran a restaurant and bar with my son…we met people from all over the world and made some friends for life…Phuket is beautiful we lived in three different houses around the island but it is a holiday destination. People come and go it is very transient and apart from immediate neighbours you are always treated like a tourist.

This was one of reasons why we decided to relocate to the North of Thailand also it is where our Thai family live…Of course I miss the beaches but we can pop on a plane and be on the beach in just over an hour… Here there are mountains and waterfalls lots of tradition and we are accepted as part of the community. The local tuk tuk drivers know where I live and know where I stop on my way back from the shops to get my fresh coconut juice and SomTam(papaya salad)…I feel safe and at home…

We all share the produce which we grow… it is a real community…They give me mangoes I make the mango jam …They love my bread pudding hot from the oven…They bring me food to try much of which I have never seen or heard of before…I make them Christmas cake we share our different food and culture it is lovely to see and feel the welcome.

I have always cooked from scratch taught by my mother and grandmother and now because of necessity, I also have more time and the fact I object to eating a cocktail of chemicals with every mouthful of food… I have been introduced to food I never dreamed I would eat or had never heard of it is definitely nose to tail eating here nothing is wasted…some even I do not have the stomach for …

I love the fierce tropical storms which blow out very quickly and then the sun shines but everything grows so quickly and is lush and green…Thais forage every day and I am amazed at how much they eat picked from the trees and the jungle…

Every time even after 8 years of living here I invariably find something I haven’t seen before at the local markets and the market traders are happy to let me try…so friendly just adorable people always smiling.

Down on the farm we have chooks and turkeys , grow rice and vegetables we have Durian, banana and other trees…I have learnt how to make charcoal, coconut cream, many of the houses have wooden looms underneath where the art of weaving is passed down through the generations. Family is strong here and many families live together in the same house or the same area…old people are cherished and looked after and willingly the families stay together.

If I had been asked when I was 30 to write about how I thought my life would be when we retired I would have been way off base…I never ever thought I would be lucky enough to live here…I doubt that I would be blogging and writing, I wouldn’t have friends from all the corners of the world and I most certainly wouldn’t have all the lovely recipes I have been taught and gifted with…Living the dream…

I cannot envisage living anywhere else , Thailand is my home…
Thank you, Pete for letting me tell my story of how I found myself here in Thailand.

Please visit Carol’s site to see photos of her new life, and some mouth-watering recipes too.
You will be glad that you connected with such a warm and friendly lady, living life her way in a new land.

Guest Post: Lucinda Clarke

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Lucinda is a writer and blogger, as well as a published author who currently resides in Spain. She is a great follower of blogs, and is always fully engaged with every post I publish, especially fiction.

I am very pleased to present her guest post, and to feature some of her books, including her latest novel. That’s her, in the middle. 🙂

Here is her unedited guest post, which includes a short bio too.

Thank you, Pete, for giving me this opportunity to appear on your blog. I am one of your most avid followers and especially enjoy your stories.

I hate writing about myself, but if I go to the big library desk in the sky tomorrow, I shall have no regrets, life has been a roller coaster ride. Born in Dublin, dragged up in the Cotswolds (a pretty part of England), and finished off in Liverpool (not as pretty). Taught in Bath (children), crofted in Scotland (disaster, bred small animals and Cairn Terriers), survived in Kenya (abandoned in the bush with 9 week old baby, no resources and tear gas riots), Libya (teaching, witness to public hanging, radio announcer, husband imprisoned, crawled through a hail of bullets to save dogs, deported), Botswana (teaching, ran very worst riding school in the world), South Africa (made legal history, teaching – fired – scriptwriter of the year award, wrote dramas and some acting, scribbled thousands of radio and TV scripts, all other forms of writing, set up own video production company, plus major concerts planning, lecturing on scriptwriting). Eventual retirement in Spain. I lie, I’m only pretending to be retired. Since 2013 independently (by choice) published 14 books.

For almost 4 decades I scribbled hundreds of diverse topics for the media eg climbing ladders; health; tourism for international conferences; educational programmes; banks; insurance companies; police and fire departments; city councils; international corporates; mayoral speechwriter; ads for radio and TV; – I could go on but I’d bore you to tears (I’m starting to yawn). I had my own newspaper column and still write for a local publication here in Spain.

I am was a freelance prostitute who wrote for anyone who would pay me and I excelled in propaganda and was wildly successful. I still don’t believe this, but the awards looked good on my study walls – when I had a study. They are now in a box under the bed. I’ve received lots more for my books, but shrank them down to fit in a couple of picture frames.

So, what genre am I unknown for? I began with memoirs, then an action-adventure series set in Africa – I was there for 35 years – a satire set in Fairyland and now I’m into psychological thrillers.

Can I scream about my latest masterpiece book, please? It’s the second in the “A Year in the Life of …” series. The first starring Leah Brand is a psychological thriller as a second time around housewife with a prosthetic leg, driven to the edge of madness by the irrational behaviour of everyday objects in the house.

mybook.to/LeahBrand

Book 2 “A Year in the Life of Andrea Coe” follows on – the nightmare is not over, as life for Leah escalates into chaos. The only person she can cling to is her best friend Andrea. But everyone has secrets and what was the attraction between a quiet, insecure housewife and an outrageous, confident, outspoken woman who lived life to the full. Was she all she seemed to be?

mybook.to/AndCoe

If the lockdown has depleted your cash reserves, you can grab a free book here – the true account of my very Worst Riding School in the World.

https://amzn.to/2TKwL55

You can find me at all these places and I’m very good at replying to virtual friends who contact me if you don’t mind chatting to an ancient wrinkly who has never grown up and who spends days torturing, killing, amputating, scaring and committing all kinds of nefarious deeds on paper. The most wonderful career in the world and I cried when I sold the company, left my team behind, and boarded the plane to fly to retirement in Spain. I love it here now but I’m just as busy.

Web page – https://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

Blog link https://lucindaeclarke.wordpress.com

Amazon author page author.to/Lucinda

twitter @LucindaEClarke https://twitter.com/LucindaEClarke

Facebook Readers page https://www.facebook.com/groups/226303738779560/

sign up URL for mailing list for my exciting monthly newsletter http://eepurl.com/cz-Mpv

Please check out her blog, and her books. Lucinda is a great part of this community, so please show her you care. Share on any social media platform you are a part of, and feel free to reblog this post if you are so inclined.

Things I could’ve done in Lockdown – a poem

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Now restrictions are ‘easing’, you might look back on the ‘Lockdown’, and ask yourself what you did. Here’s what Rich Lakin did.

Richard Lakin's Blog

All those things I could and should’ve done….but didn’t. Hope you enjoy..

View original post

SIX THOUSAND AND ONE

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I noticed the follower numbers had ticked over to 6,001 this morning.

I usually mark such milestones on my blog by writing about how so many of those followers never actually follow, and why the numbers don’t matter in the least.

But I won’t do that today. 🙂

I will just say a big “THANK YOU!” to everyone who follows this blog.

Best wishes to you all, Pete.

Stages Of Grief (And Loss)

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I can't remember if I blogged about this before, I first heard about it in the movie "The Bucket List" with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, who's characters were both terminally ill with cancer, and they eventually made friends and had some adventures together. It's a nice film, well worth a watch. In the movie, they talk about the 5 stages of grief which I think originated with Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Basic White Bread Recipe

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Basic White Bread - Lovely, yummy, white bread (with milk). Can be used for loaves, rolls, or I've even used for pizza base.

VJ’s Weekly Challenge #95: bits and pieces

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“What’s happening with your camera?” I asked Ric on our last outing. He has a new one, and left the old one for repair, possibly passing it on to me. “It’s lost in the pandemic.” “Oh,… yeah.” Processing the backload of photos, I come across pics of my mom from our last visit, before her … Continue reading VJ’s Weekly Challenge #95: bits and pieces

A Mother’s Education

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By the time she was three, my first daughter, an early talker, had shared that people have colours around them, that I would eventually have three children, and not to worry about those who died, for they come back like she did. “She’s freaking me out,” I told a cousin of mine. “I don’t know … Continue reading A Mother’s Education

Thanks For the Tag

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DC49B49B-88F1-48E4-B706-C6F93814FA68Cyranny, over at Cyranny’s Cove, has gifted me with a nomination for the Real Neat Blog Award. I am honored by her tag and I really appreciate it, even though I have declared my blog to be an award-free blog. But it’s not a Q&A-free blog, so I’m happy to answer the ten questions she posed to me and her other nominees. So let’s do this.

How do you think 10-year-old-you would feel about today-you?

He’d wonder when I got so old.

Share one thing from your bucket list. (You haven’t made a bucket list? There must be things you hope to accomplish before you die, right? Just pick one, hehehe.)

My number one bucket list item is to kick the bucket peacefully and painlessly when the time comes.

Have you ever read a fellow blogger’s book? What book was that, and can you link the author here?

I’ve actually read a few, including books by Iain Kelly, Cage Dunn, Teresa Grabs, Paula Light, C.S. Boyack, and Jackson Radcliffe.

What’s your favorite foreign country and why?

The United States. I know what you’re thinking. I live in the United States, but these days, it seems quite foreign to me.

Who’s the last person you wrote a real letter to?

A “real” letter? You mean one written with a pen on a piece of paper? OMG, that’s so twentieth century.

What are you the most proud, about your blog?

That I’m still blogging.

What do you like the most about The Cove?

The Cove? Can you be more specific? Is it a nightclub? A restaurant? A novelty shop? 😉

What’s a word you wish you’d never hear again? Why?

President Trump. Okay, that’s two words, and neither word, in and of itself, is offensive. But when said together: 🤮

What’s the biggest “from you, to you” gift you ever got yourself?

Back in the early 70s, I bought myself a used, 1959 Jaguar XK 150. It was a beautiful car.6F46E387-05C3-4D0B-B0EF-BFD7E0497DC9Unfortunately, it spent more time in the shop than on the road.

Tell me something you wish people knew about yourself, that most people don’t?

I’m an open book. Most people I know in the real world know everything there is to know about me.

Okay, does anyone else want to take a shot at Cyranny’s questions? Consider yourselves tagged.

Time Flies

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3A8A571B-BE87-4824-B6AC-3B794A1CD62DYesterday I received the above notification from WordPress. Wow, three years since I registered “Fivedotoh” with WordPress. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun, right?

I published my first post on this blog on May 14, 2017. It received five views, two likes, and no comments that year. Woo hoo!

Since that first post, I’ve published around 4,500 others, including this one. My blog posts have had more than 365,000 views from almost 100,000 visitors. My posts have received close to 114,000 likes and just shy of 68,000 comments, and my blog now has almost 3,200 followers.

All I can think of is that tagline for Virginia Slims cigarettes from back in the day: “You’ve come a long way, baby.”

Thank you all for visiting my blog, reading my posts, liking my posts, and commenting on them. It means the world to me.

And to all of you mothers out there, have a wonderful Mother’s Day.

The 100th…

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I embarked on my journey of blog writing on 17 Apr 18 on wordpress.com AWESOME , UNIQUE AND BORN TO BE A LEADER and today after a passage of little more than two years I write my 100th blog. In between I had to take a break to take care of my health issues till I came back again and too co- incidentally on 17 Apr 20; nothing planned but it just happened that way.

100th

At the outset I would like to thank my wife for being part of this journey, most of my blogs/ stories are centered around her and she has taken everything I have written ‘sportingly’. I also thank my daughter, Pranjal, my biggest critique and motivator. My gratitude to all my friends who have always taken out time to read my blogs and given their valuable inputs.

Why I took to blogging?

It was surprising for most of the people who knew me closely, when I decided to write blogs that too in English language. A person, whose vocabulary of a language is finite, hold on grammar and capability to play with words mediocre, is generally not expected take to writing in that language. I, being from North India, am more comfortable in speaking and thinking in my mother tongue Hindi and my capability of English conversation is dependent on how fast my brain can translate my Hindi thoughts into English at a given point of time.

I still decided to take to blogging in English as I firmly believed that HOW you express does matter but more than that what actually catches the attention is WHAT you say and WHY you say it. English as a language also does helps in conversing with a larger diversified audience.

Blogging helps me in sharing my life experiences with people I may never meet. Believe you me, whatever I express in my blogs is based on my personal experiences. I have gone through each of those situations before I penned them.

The progress….

My intent is not to pursue blogging as a profession, but it has certainly become a passion. Blogging not only provides a platform to express thoughts/ feelings what you otherwise may never be able to speak, it also is a great learning enabler. One gets to interact with variety of people from world over and get to read varied views on diverse subjects.

I do not have a follower base and it does not bother me much. If my content is worthwhile, I am sure people will read. Many other bloggers have advised me to create a niche, target a set audience but somehow as of now I want to try my hand at whatever genre I can though education/ motivation/ human relations will continue to be in the forefront.

Conclusion….

I am putting in effort, learning and certainly improving. I am not able to interact

accomplishment

with fellow bloggers much due to my present commitments but soon I intend spending more time on it. My aim is to have my own website, a place to express and interact on varied subjects. I am sure with your blessings I will succeed.

Thank you so all for being part of my journey…..

Too Wet To Play

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(For Lens-Artists Challenge: All wet.)

So much to read

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There are so many blogs that I am to read. I have bookmarked blogs on my phone and computer. There are 50 blogs on phone and 40 blogs on computer which I have bookmarked. It is certain that it will take time to read all those blogs, but I am determined to do it. When … Continue reading So much to read

Expressions

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Countenance displays trutha smiling pant conveys contentment A ready smile invites a visitspreads a familial warmth A furrowed brow suggests concerna child’s uncertainty during lockdown. Words can offer intentbut expression speaks so much more. (For Cee’s Black & White Photo challenge: Heads or facial features.)

VJ’s Weekly Challenge #95: What a Child Knows

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I am five.  Chronologically, I am five.  Inside, I feel as old as I’ll ever be. I am free of the burdens and distractions that surround me, and often, alone. I have a sense of something I can’t quite articulate – purpose, mingled with wisdom; trust, and a connection larger than me. I do not … Continue reading VJ’s Weekly Challenge #95: What a Child Knows

Oh, For a Good Story

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Fishermen are notoriously good storytellers. Who can resist the suspense of the catch, and the disappointment of the one who got away? As a teacher, my favourite class was the one where we put the desks in a circle and told stories. After all, oral traditions are where stories begin. My grandchildren naturally prod for … Continue reading Oh, For a Good Story

At Home

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A perch to greet the world a corner to keep my books(could use some sorting) A pot of home made soup on the stove(Chicken tortilla – our favourite) This is home. (For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: at home)

Just For Fun

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For Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week: Just for fun.

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #94: wild card

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I welcome your response to the Dalai Lama’s words. No specific word for this challenge, so you are open to be creative. Create a post on your own blog and link back here. Poetry, prose, photography, music – any form of creativity welcome. Looking forward to your responses!

Laughter Lingers in Memory

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The days fold one into another, and the daily phone calls with Mom tend towards reminiscence – not much happening in the present. We talk about my aunt, her sister-in-law, a colourful figure who lived her life alone – lesbian in a time when homosexuality was considered criminal, and later, a mental illness. Dee, as … Continue reading Laughter Lingers in Memory