Day 30 – Paint

Claude Monet, Claude Monet

Why must you paint?

You could get a real job

Selling fruit and veg

There’s an opening at the grocer

Go put your application into Ed

If you have an eye for beauty

Why don’t you stock flowers

It would attract the lovely ladies

Perhaps you’ll find a wife

There is no money in art

You’ll be begging on the street

This is not the life I wish for you

Be a grocer on your feet

Put down your brush

Get cleaned up

Go find yourself a job

Claude Monet, Claude Monet

Why must you paint?


 Day 30’s challenge

For Day 30 the prompt is to write a poem ”that engages with a strange and fascinating fact. It could be an odd piece of history, an unusual bit of art trivia, or something just plain weird. While I cannot vouch for the actual accuracy of any of the facts presented at the links above (or any other facts you might use as inspiration!), I can tell you that there are definitely some poetic ideas here, just waiting for someone to use them.”

I followed the links with different unusual facts and I connected with this one on Claude Monet. Many creatives get told to get a ’real’ job, one that can pay the bills. When I saw Claude Monet’s dad wanted him to be a Grocer, I could hear him arguing with his son in my head.

Today, is the last day of April and NaPoWriMo 2018. I am so proud of myself for keeping up with the challenge to the end. I’m so thankful to all the people that have supported me with likes and comments, it was unexpected but really helpful. Thank you.


Race For Life

What is Race for Life?

It is a Women’s only fundraising event to raise money for Cancer Research UK. They fund research into over 200 types of cancer. You can check their website for more details of the events taking place across the UK by clicking here.

How can you help?

Nearly everyone has lost someone they love to cancer or knows someone that has. My sister and her ‘mummy’ friends have decided to run this year. Sadly, this month, one of the mums lost her battle with cancer, making this years race even more personal for these women.You can help by:

  • Following Hev’s blog and encouraging her. She posts cute pics of her trainer (Roland – the pug that can).
  • Sponsor Hev to raise money for the charity. Every little helps & you could get the government to boost your sponsorship if you are a tax payer.
  • Raise awareness of the charity by talking about it.
  • You could even get involved and do Race For Life in your area!

Below is Hev’s blog article:

This blog post is not about running, it is about something more important. Roland and I have done one race a year since we started running together. […]

via We are doing the 10km Race for Life — This Pug Can

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Day 29 – Locomotive

Pintrest - Poem April 29.pngDo not go off track

You will reach your course in time

Stay on the iron rails


 Day 29’s challenge

For Day 29 the prompt is to write a poem ”based on the Plath Poetry Project’s calendar. Simply pick a poem from the calendar, and then write a poem that responds or engages with your chosen Plath poem in some way?”

Strangely, I enjoyed Slyvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar.  However, it’s the weekend and her writing is really dark and depressing and although that matches the weather today (rain, rain and more rain), I don’t want to go there.

I’m breaking against the prompt and I am going to do my own thing.  For inspiration, I am going with the first ‘Free Image’ I found on Canva.  It is a picture of trains.  I also want to have a go at writing a Haiku as I’ve never done one before.

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Day 28 – Postcard

Postcard Poem - Day 28


Pintrest - Poem April 28.png

Day 28’s challenge

For Day 28 the prompt is to write ”a prose poem in the form/style of a postcard. If you need some inspiration, why not check out some images of vintage postcards?”

For today’s prompt I was fortunate enough to have time to read the resource:



A poem that captures a moment in time with a strong sense of place. As postcards often are, it is a short letter addressed to someone specific.


I thought about holidays I’ve been on and googled postcard images to get inspiration.  I tried to think about who the postcard is to.  I thought about writing a postcard based on a disaster holiday.  Then the idea struck for a postcard to someone you long to be there but really can’t be.  At first I thought of a prisoner’s wife and then I decided on a widow.

I’m not confident at writing prose but I’m pleased with what I’ve created.

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April, What have I been watching?


Here are the shows I have loved this month. I’m surprised how many I have got through considering it was such a busy month.

Magicians (season 3)

Genre: Fantasy

You know a series is good when you are still investing your time to watch it by the third series. And, it didn’t disappoint.

Magic has gone but don’t worry the gang will quest together to obtain keys to bring magic back. There was more to do with the faeries in this series and lots of travelling to and fro Fillory.

The idea of no magic doesn’t sound great for the show but the writers did an amazing job and  overcoming this obstacle made a compelling season.

How to Get Away With Murder (season 1)

Genre: Drama – crime

I wasn’t drawn to this show, it didn’t sound like my thing. Discovering Shonda Rhimes was involved in producing the series, I decided to give it a go as I loved Greys Anatomy. I am pleased I did.

Top law students are working at their tutors firm. There are a few flashbacks and flash forwards to tease viewers as to what is going on. Through a series of events, these young adults find themselves in a position where they are using their degree to cover up a murder.

All the characters are well developed and despite the shocking theme for the show the plot is believable.  The twists and turns of the characters and the predicaments that they find themselves in means you will keep watching to make sure they get out of their mess.

Fear the Walking Dead (season 3)

Genre: Drama – horror

I’ve loved The Walking Dead for years and when fans needed more we were given Fear the Walking Dead. This series follows another group of survivors with new problems to overcome.

Season 3, sees the main family reunited and residing in a ‘safe’ community. In typical apocalyptic style, ‘safe’ is a temporary illusion. With survivors desperate for water to survive, everyone finds themselves making tough choices to stay alive.

You can trust the writers to deliver plenty of strong character development which is one of the reasons I love the show. Everyone has a background and the possibility to grow as a person. Plus, there is the nail biting action that makes it impossible to look away.

Altered Carbon (season 1)

Genre: Sci Fi

This was my husband’s choice and I wasn’t sure I’d like it. The series brought new ideas alive in a futuristic world, where death is possible to evade if you can afford to keep buying ‘skins’. You can only be permanently killed if your backup is destroyed (memories, thoughts, etc). Otherwise, your back up can be stored until a skin is available and you are immortal.

The main character is resurrected into a ‘skin’ to help solve a case. There is a love interest (or more) which I enjoyed following alongside the main story.

It had a complex storyline with twists to keep you guessing until the end. The new world and its problems are well thought out. I’m so glad I watched this.

Game of Thrones (season 7)

Genre: Fantasy

This season was very short but you’ll see the remaining Starks finally being reunited. There was lots of dragon footage, which looked amazing. Alliances were built to take the iron throne but plans are put on hold when they realise their immediate threat is the army of white walkers. This battle needs the living need to unite to stand any chance of winning but with each kingdom at war and historically hating each other, alliances are not easy to form.

I really enjoyed this season and I wish it had been longer but I assume the brevity was due to the cost of bringing dragons to life.

Final thoughts…

I am surprised that no comedies made the list. We do watch Friends whilst eating dinner and last month we were enjoying Grace & Frankie. I’d love a new comedy, if you can recommend one, please comment and let me know.

I would love to know if you’ve watched any of the above (or planning to) and if you enjoyed them as much as me.

Also, now you can see what I enjoyed watching this month you may have some ideas on what else I should be watching – please do make recommendations.

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Day 27 – Tarot

Wrap it in a cloth

Keep it in a box

Cleanse it with a crystal quartz

A woman with a lion

Stands as a great force

Ready to take any challenge

Keep her life on course

With a hardworking ethos

She’ll get the job done

With a clear head and vision

It won’t take her long

Pressure to burn out

She wants it all at once

Needs time to be fruitful

Or she’ll feel like a dunce

With the lion in her corner

The right attitude to her goals

She can achieve anything

But must remember to have a hols

Wrap it in a cloth

Keep it in a box

Cleanse it with a crystal quartz


Day 27’s challenge

For Day 27 the prompt is ”we challenge you to pick a card (any card) from this online guide to the tarot, and then to write a poem inspired either by the card or by the images or ideas that are associated with it.”

A few years ago a work colleague gifted me a pack of Tarot cards and gave me a blue cloth to keep them safe. For this challenge, I decided to dig them out.

I then searched online to find out how to do a reading. I found this Basic 3 Card spread, gave it a go and used it as my inspiration for my poem today.

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Day 26 – Senses

Like a rain cloud that cannot be seen

You sense the threat of rain

Like energy in the air

Being sucked away from your being

You put on a brave face

To distract them from the shadows

Every breath is an effort

You feel like you’ve run a marathon

Living is like breaking nails

A tireless journey with no respite

Your desperate for the ending

To cut it short with a knife

Food tastes has no appeal

Like eating cotton wool

The weight on your shoulders

Feels like heavy boulders

Hearing others happy and laugh

You want to drown in a bath

Submerged under the watery bliss

Bubbles tickling your nose like a mother’s kiss

You can’t get out of bed

For the doctor to give you meds

Little pills to numb your feelings

Not really offering any healing

Don’t speak and lock your jaw

To others you slam your inner door

Like a fish in the desert

You don’t belong in this world

There’s something not coded right

Disconnected wires on a motherboard


Day 26’s challenge

For Day 26 the prompt is to write a poem “that includes images that engage all five senses. Try to be as concrete and exact as possible with the “feel” of what the poem invites the reader to see, smell, touch, taste and hear.”

At first, I was excited to write something exploring the senses but when I saw the examples I was blown away and intimidated. This challenge is more technical than I expected and I have just a few hours (or minutes in my bust schedule) to get something written…

Sadly, I am making this entry a day late.  I decided to write about mental health as I think it is tricky concept for those that have not experienced it to understand.  When I was struggling with issues myself, I really got into poetry and I felt it was a way I could express myself more easily.  I decided to be brave last October (for Mental Health Awareness month) and shared a collection of these to Wattpad in a book titled “Inner Demons“.

I promise I am in a much stronger place now.  I hope anyone that is struggling with their own demons can find hope in that, it is a battle but you can win.

Inner Demons
Inner Demons

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Review: Skin Organics Beauty Box

What is it?

Skin Organics Clean Beauty is a subscription box with a selection of non-toxic, cruelty-free, organic and natural products.  These may be skincare, body care or beauty products.  Their aim is to help you discover clean, green and cruelty-free products and brands.  They dispatch on 20th of the month.

Cost:  £19.00 (+£3.95 P&P) subscription, UK

This is my second subscription to this box.

I have created a video to go with this post but it’s my first attempt and I think it needs a little edit before putting on YouTube. My plan is to figure out ‘how’ this weekend and update my post then. Sorry for the delay. Here is my written first impressions:

What was in my box?


This months theme is Radiance. Inside the box was seven products!

The card has details about all the products and discount codes if you decide to buy.

Mono Naturoils

There were two products by this brand. Their products are cruelty free, vegan, zero waste, and the purest ingredients from the earth. The ingredients are botanical and infused with energy from crystals. For customers they have a loyalty program and free shipping.

Rose & Cucumber Cleansing Oil (website & sheet lists price as £20.00)

I’ve always wanted to try a cleansing oil as I’ve heard that contrary to logic that it can be good for acne prone skin. However, I’ve never got around to putting the theory to the test.

Since receiving the oil I’ve switched to give it a try and so far I like it.

Facial Steam (This trial size is a gift from the founder of Mono. No price is given.)

I haven’t tried this yet but I do get clogged skin so I think a steam will be really good for my face. I’m looking forward to giving this a go soon.

Wildsource Apothecary

Built on an understanding of aromatherapy, these botanical products use natural ingredients. The website hosted a number of interesting looking products that are very tempting.

Radiance Mask (website RRP £24.00 & sheet lists price as £15.00)

I almost tried this after my bath but I must confess, I am not great at mixing my own masks. I tend to get inpatient with adding water and then make them too runny. I will try and do it this month and share my thoughts.


This brand provides ingredients to make your own organic beauty products (and sets to get your started). These oils come with a card with three uses and one is a serum recipe.

Certified Organic Rosehip Oil (website & sheet list price as £8.99)

I already have an Oil by this brand and found it to be of good quality. It smells just like an oil so I think they honestly don’t add anything to it – you really are getting what you pay for.

Green People

For a long time I’ve wanted to try this brand but never got around to buying it. They are all organic and worked with soil association to create a recognised standard for other brands to aspire to. They are ethical and support charities. Cruelty free.

Quinoa & Calendula Shower Gel  (website RRP £9.99 (100ml), 4.00 on the sheet for sample size)

I haven’t yet used this as I wanted to get some nice pics before jumping in the shower with it. It is SLS free (as are all their products), paraben free and a whole list of free from synthetic ingredients. The natural ingredients are all added for a reason such as Quinoa to lock in moisture.

Anita Grant

There were two generous sample size products in this box. The brand is….

Vanilla Cocoa Body Butter Sample (website & sheet RRP £3.45 for 15g sample size)

This body butter is sensitive enough to use on babies and suitable for pregnant women to treat stretch marks.

It has a very strong rich chocolate smell. The body butter is very moisturising and becomes oil like when it warms up. I really liked the texture but found the smell a little much for me. I’d be interested in trying it again with another scent.

Coconut Rosewood Dry Oil (website & sheet RRP £2.99 for 15ml)

The dried rose floating inside makes it feel special and pretty. This is suitable for combination and dry skin. It also can be used on your hair. I really like the smell. It’s early days but so far I’m very fond of this product and have been using it on my face to treat problem areas.

Would I recommend?

Once again this is another great box, introducing the sort of brands I want to know and use. Everything feels like good quality and was beautifully wrapped.

All the products meet the promise of clean, green and cruelty-free – so if that’s something you desire, this is a great box for you. 

Reflect on previous box

I’m going to include a new part to my article where I look back at the previous months box to see how I got on with the contents. I hope you find it useful.

This is how I got on using the products from my March box:

Apothaka:  Rejuvenating face oil – normal/combination skin (website RRP £19.50, Sheet lists price as £19.95)

I haven’t used this as much as I though I would.  It’s been so hot, I’ve wanted something lighter than an oil.

NKnaturals London:  Delicate – Healing Cleansing Balm (website RRP £25.00 for 60ml, Sheet lists price as £15.00 for 30ml)

This was being used every day and my skin loves it. I only stopped when it got so hot and I desired a lighter cleanser (a gel one). I am still using it to remove eye makeup as it is so gentle on my skin. I like the strong honey and lemon smell.

The Salt Parlour:  Calm – Salt and Sulphur Scrub (Rose and Shea Butter) (£15.00 RRP for 200g on the website, £5.90 on the sheet for 60g tin)

I keep forgetting I have this but when I did use it I was really impressed. I don’t usually like scrubs but this is the best one I’ve ever used.

North-burN:  Revive – Luxury Bathing Salts (Orange, Lavender and Palmarosa (£4.00 on the sheet)

I still have not used this product as I am saving it for after I have my baby (in August) as salt baths are a great way of healing after labour.

Beauty Kubes – Organic shampoo for normal to dry hair  (£1.00 on the sheet)

They now have a video on their website showing you how to use these kubes.  I think they are a really affordable and eco-friendly way of shampooing your hair and will think about repurchasing them in future.

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Day 25 – Warning

If Ally is your bestie

You will find her loyal to a fault

Even if you’re in the wrong

She will back you in a revolt

Unless that wrong is against her

Then you will find she won’t forget

So, never cross your Ally

Or you will be filled with regret

To keep your Ally happy

She likes lots of food

Don’t feed her anything spicy

It can cause her to explode

She likes real butter

And vinegar on most things

She has a sweet tooth

But prefers savoury things

If she does not get enough sleep

She becomes a grizzly monster

She can be very trusting

Therefore hates all imposters

She’s got a wild imagination

You could lose her to another world

If she doesn’t get time to write

There will be trouble to be told

She doesn’t thrive in direct sunlight

Keep her safe in a shady spot

If she turns red she needs Aloe Vera

You must not let her get too hot

If she gets a headache

It’s best to vacate the house

She will snap at any sound

Even the scurry of a mouse

She can be a little messy

But don’t call her out on that

She excels in other areas

So, Ally will make up for that

Ally is far from perfect

But looks for the silver lining

If you take good care of your Ally

You need not heed this warning


Day 25’s challenge

For Day 25 the prompt is to write a poem “that takes the form of a warning label . . . for yourself! (Mine definitely includes the statement: “Do Not Feed More Than Four Cookies Per Hour.””

Oh, this prompt sounds like fun. My hubby knows that I can be mean if I’m tired, hungry or have a headache. I also love vinegar and I’m very passionate about real food and don’t like impersonators (margarine, quorn and chocolate bars that are really biscuits).

Natalie Anne Collins (@NeoTheArtist)

The images in this article of me were taken by photographer Natalie Anne Collins and retains the copyright. She works in partnership with Neil Anthony Mason. To learn more about their work, click here.

Day 24 – Elegy

Sparkling blue, Crystal clear

Pure water sustained us all

Poisoned by chemicals, Choked by plastic

We took nature for granted

What if we thought to change

Questioned what goes down our drain

Cut down on waste and switched to eco

If we start now we could undo

Reduce your waste

Find green alternatives

Bring back our ocean

Of health, vitality and life


Day 24’s challenge

For Day 24 the prompt is “an elegy – a poem typically written in honor or memory of someone dead. But we’d like to challenge you to write an elegy that has a hopefulness to it. Need inspiration? You might look at W.H. Auden’s elegy for Yeats, which ends on a note suggesting that the great poet’s work will live on, inspiring others in years to come. Or perhaps this elegy by Mary Jo Bang, where the sadness is shot through with a sense of forgiveness on both sides.”

It felt strange to write a elegy for someone still here. With Earth Day recently taking place, my impact on the planet is at the forefront of my mind. The images of our seas plastic pollution is very disturbing and that is where I drew my inspiration for today’s poem.

If we carry on as we are then our beautiful oceans will be ruined. There is still time for us to change and turn the situation around. It’s not just for us but also the creatures we share our planet with. Water is vital to all our existence and it is beautiful.