Be Thankful Challenge

This is the first challenge post I’ve done since the ‘Three Quotes Challenge’ (twice) a few ย months ago when everyone here in the U.K. could pretend it was still summer, despite the cloudy skies and lots of rain in some places – like poor old Cornwall. Although this challenge stems from the coming Thanksgiving Day the U.S. (November 26th) most of us around the world have things to be thankful for, including me. I’m also thankful for many wonderful people, without whom my life wouldn’t be nearly as rich and fulfilling.

Before I go any further, I want to say a big THANK YOU to fellow (and much-younger-than-me) North of England blogger, Morgan Mills, over at The Sectret Diary of a Computer Science Student, for nominating me for this challenge. Morgan’s not THAT young – I just liked this picture from Pixabay ๐Ÿ˜€ ):


Now for the Rules:

shutterstock_152788070* Share this image (top one) in your blog post
* Write about 5 people in your life you are thankful for
* Write about 5 things in 2015 that you are thankful for
* Spread the love and challenge 5 other blogs to take partย 

Five people I’m thankful for in 2015 are:

My husband, Nick. He’s been my constant support since we got married 45 years ago (on Saturday, October 24th – our wedding anniversary – and our daughter’s birthday, too (Louise – or on WordPress, afairymind at The Story Teller’s Abodeย ).ย Whilst researching my books, he’s happily traipsed all over this country and Denmark with me, visiting Anglo Saxon and Viking sites. He’s also supported me (and been very patient) as I’ve written two of the books, and is still bearing up as I write the third book of the trilogy.

How could I not be thankful for our six children? (Quite easily, I suppose ๐Ÿ™‚ In order of age, they are: Nicola, Richard, Neil, Louise, Thomas and Christopther. They have filled my life with joy (seriously!) for the past 43 years. They have also cost me hundreds of hours of lost sleep, thousands and thousands of pounds (sterling: ยฃ) and caused enough worry to give anyone dozens of ulcers. But who’s counting little things like that . . .?ย ย 

The wonderful, professional editor, Doug Watts, who edited my first two books (the second one, last year) and is waiting for the third – which he’s expecting before Christmas. I haven’t told him yet that it’s going to be a little late beacuse I’ve been having so much fun on WordPress. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll put off telling him a little longer, I think.ย 

My fantastic fellow bloggers on WordPress. If I hadn’t found so many lovely people out there in this great big world of Blogland, I’d probably have closed down my blog ages ago. I’ve got to know so many of you, I almost feel as though I’ve known you forever. The community spirit is amazing and to be able to share ideas and feelings is a fantastic thing to do. Thank you, WordPress bloggers, for making me feel so welcome, and valued. I love reading your posts and finding out what’s going on hundreds/thousands of miles away. I’ve learned so much from you all – and I just love to learn new things . . .

My sister, Linda, who has been so very poorly this year. In fact she’s been ill all her life and I worry a lot about her. ย When I was three and she was only 6 months, we both had whooping cough, which was prevalent at that time (early in 1950). Nor were children vaccinated against it then. I got through it all well, being older, I suppose. Linda didn’t. The illness left her with very weakened lungs, which have caused enormous problems ever since, as the bottom lobe on each lung is collapsed. Needless to say, she needs constant treatment. But this year, Linda also fell off a chair she was standing on to retrieve something from on top of a wardrobe! Not only did she badly break her wrist, she also dislodged her shoulder blade and damaged her already bad hip. So, in 2015, as well as hospital ‘stays’ย for her lungs, she’s had a hip replacement operation and one to realign her wrist. As always, she’s taken itย all in her stride and continued as though nothing has happened. I’m thankful she has a devoted husband of 43 years and three wonderful children to love her. And I’m thankful to have such a wonderful sister.

Five things I’m thankful for in 2015:

Keeping healthy throughout the year. This, of course, applies not only to me, ย but to my immediate family and friends. Only my sister causes me worry, as mentioned above. But getting older can be a precarious business! (Personally, I don’t like the idea one bit and think ageing ย -or aging, if you’re in the US – should be abolished. ย But nobody ever listens to me.) I think myself lucky not to have succumbed to any serious illness, as yet. I do try to keep healthy by not eating junk food and getting plenty of exercise and, boring as that may sound, I think the strategy has worked. So far.

All the kind bloggers who have read and reviewed my books! As you’ve no doubt read on the blogs of many writers out there, reviews are like gold dust to an author – even if they’re only a couple of lines long. They must be perfectly honest ones though. I would never ask anyone to lie for me. I’d much rather have honest opinions. I’m totally indebted to those of you who’ve done this for me. I generally do a post to say when my books will be free on Amazon, and I know that many of you have downloaded copies in the past. My next 5 free days will be sometime in November. I thank you all, whether you did a review or not

For living in a stable part of the world.ย This, I suppose can be viewed in different ways. Regarding tectonic and meteorological hazrds, Britain is rarely at risk. We aren’t near to a plate boundary, and we don’t experience tropical storms and hurricanes, or the tornadoes that plague the American Mid-West. We do have floods sometimes, both river and coastal ones, but not on the scale of those in tropical latitiudes. We are very fortunate in all this and, like most people I know, am always grieved by news of earthquakes, typhoons and so on elsewhere in the world. All we can do – and as ย a nation I believe we do it well – is provide aid for those who so desperately need it.ย Britain is also politically stable at present in the sense that we’re not experiencing civil war or riots. We might all be moaning about the usual inflation, wage cuts and the rest that I won’t go into, but that happens whichever political party is in power. We all know the saying about not being able to please all the people all of the time.

For the wonderful holidays I’ve enjoyed this year. We seem to have been away from home more than ever this year. Since going to Andalucia in early May, we’ve been constantly out and about. I’m thankful for this for a couple of reasons – besides just loving visiting historical sites or going on holiday. The first is that our visit to Southern Spain was primarily to do research for my third book. The second reason is connected to my blog. Everywhere I’ve visited, abroad or in the UK, has given me lots of material to use on my ‘Travel’ or ‘History’ posts on my blog. Even our week in Malta was a constant round of photography. So, I’m very thankful for being able to do this, and still have lots of posts to write up.

Finally, ย I’m thankful that, in 2015, we still have a ban on the hunting of mammals with dogs in Britain. The current Government has said it hopes to repeal this Act, so allowing this atrocious ‘sport’ to return. Without getting into any political debates here (and I must add that this is my personal opinion, and I respect the rights of others to hold their own opinions on this issue – but I don’t intend to discuss it on this post!) all I can say is that I find the whole idea of dogs ripping animals (most often fox, deer, hare and mink) to shreds absolutely horrendous – and dread it becoming legal again. (The Act was passed in 2005, banning it.) I just hope that 2016 will see the ban still in place.


I have so many things to be thankful for, and realise how lucky I am to lead the life I love, with the people I love. What more could I ask?

These are my five nominees:

Joy Pixley

It’s Good to be Crazy Sometimes




50 thoughts on “Be Thankful Challenge

  1. What a lovely idea, to sit down and think about what we’re thankful for! Although I wonder, is it rude form to plagiarize the ideas of the person who write their thankful post before you? Because those are all good ideas. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Does that mean you accept the challenge? ๐Ÿ˜€ I hope so. I imagine, as a writer and blogger, some of your things to be thankful for are bound to be the same as mine. It wouldn’t be at all rude to get some ideas from me. Morgan, who nominated me, mentioned the blogging community. How can we not? Plagiarize away… ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Yes, I do accept, thank you! I have a little written for it, and hope to get the rest done in the next day or two. I’ll at least rephrase your ideas with my own words. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. So lovely! Thank you for taking part! :-). I completely agree with the stability of where we live, and the hunting ban. I do think many people take a lot of things like that for granted!

  3. Wow.. Beautiful post… Great to know that Louise is your daughter. Stay healthy and hope your sister Linda recovers very soon. Best wishes always๐Ÿ˜€

  4. What a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving (for me in the U.S.) post, Millie. I loved learning more about you, and thinking of my own things to be thankful for, a little early. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Thanksgiving is on Nov. 26th this year).

    1. Thanks Mara. I found it interesting to think of things for this post – although it was difficult to find things that might interest anyone other than my family! I did manage to find a couple in the end. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. 2015 has been good to me, Ineke, in that my books have started selling (not a lot, but enough to scrape them from th bottom of the pile) and I’ve been on WordPress, and really enjoyed it. It’s not been good for Book 3. which needs much more time devoting to it. I really hope your book does well for you. I’ll review it as soon as I find time to read it properly. So far, I’ve just had a look at afew stories – simply because I’m in the middle of reading a couple of other books.

      1. No worries about the reading and review. To me it’s just wonderful that some people showed interest in it. Also just the idea of doing it all on myself was a journey I’ll never forget.
        Glad to hear your books are selling, that’s also a plus to you as a writer. Just put full attention in no 3 now! Maybe it will be ready sooner than you think. Hugs to you because you are very special to me.

  5. Millie you’ve left me crying!! There’s a lot to moan about, but a lot more to be thankful for. Sisters are a treasure like no other, worst enemies at times best allies all the time. Will definitely get to this later today. Thanks for nominating me.

    1. Oh no! I didn’t intend to make anyone cry! ๐Ÿ˜€ But thank you for agreeing that we all have a lot to be thankful for. And thank you for accepting the challenge. Writing out the things you’re thankful for is a very thought-provoking exercise! I tried to find things that were different to each other but, inevitably, thoughts keep coming back to family and friends. I’m really look forward to reading yours, Chioma. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Now, Prospero, is that another one of your ‘porkies’? (You do know that phrase, don’t you? It’s Cockney rhyming slang: porky pies = lies). Well, if it isn’t, I hope your childhood was better than Oliver Twist’s, and you didn’t constantly have to ask for more. If it is a porky pie, I hope you have a great family. Look wht you’ve done now, Prospero… totally confused me! Thank you for taht amazingly ambiguous comment. It gave me a giggle. ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Nothing is ever totally true or false. Hanging around me you should know that by now, Millie.

      2. Of course I do, Prospero, and I really appreciate that.:) I find your ambiguous comments fascinating. (They’re just a little difficult to reply to with any degree of seriousness – so I resort to stupidity. Lol ) ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. I love this post! I thought you had 4 kids, wow 6! I really had fun getting to know so much about you! I didn’t know your books were free for a short time. I have to get them! Very exciting. I love what you said about your kids it made me laugh! It is so nice to have such a great hubbie and 45 years awesome! Much love! Lynn

    1. Thanks again. Yes, I have sis, but still a way behind you! Nine is totally wonderful. i would have liked to have gone on for ever, but I was 38 when i had Chris, and got a horrible lump on my leg thta threatened thrombosis. I was ‘warned’ not to have more pregnancies. The lump just went away and I had no problems after that, but it was enough to make me think. So six was the final score.
      As for my books, the first, ‘Shadow of the Raven’ will be free for a few days in November. I’ll perhaps mention it in a post just before.(I’m pretty hopeless at self promotion.) Anyway, thank you so much for reading my Challenge post. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. please be better at self promotion ha ha so I will see it and remember! I don’t want to miss it! Awesome post! I love your daughter’s blog, she is quite something, like her mom!

      2. Lou writes beautifully and I about to do NaNoWriMo soon. She’s desperate to get her first book written, so she won’t be on her blog in November a great deal. So many bloggers do NaNo, so November tends to be quite quiet on WP – at least it was last year.
        Now it’s ten past twelve in the UK and the 24th (my 45th wedding anniverasry!) and well time for bed. So I’ll gasy Goodnight for now, Lynn. Talk again soon …

    1. Yes it is a great idea. I imagine that most of us could think of more than 5 things or people to be thankful for. Thank you for commenting, Rockhopper. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I really liked your post and this is a great topic for a challenge – focusing on the positive! So much of what you read in the news these days is always negative and so I think it’s important to remember to be grateful for the good things – and focus on them rather than the bad. Hope your sister gets better soon. Have a good weekend, Millie!

    1. Had I known you’d like this challenge, I would have nominated you. I thought you didn’t do awards and challenges now. But you’re right – it was a good one for making me think positively.
      Linda finally had the plaster off her wrist on Thursday, and although her hand will never be properly aligned with her arm, it’s far better than it was when she broke it. She couldn’t use it at all then and it looked quite horrendous. Have a great weekend, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you, Freda! I’ll be putting the first book of the trilogy free first and the second one later in the month (haven’t decided on the days for either yet, but plan to do the early this week). I’ll mention the dates in a blog post.It’s the ebooks that are free, by the way, not the hard copies. I would be really grateful – and delighted – if you downloaded it. ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Congratulations on the anniversary Millie and wish that you’d have many more enjoyable years together with your husband. Wish you both good heath and a happy life together. And also a belated happy birthday to Louise. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I hope your sister keeps in good health Millie. Thanks for nominating me. I loved this idea, will be doing the post soon.

  9. Congratulations Millie! โค It feels good to hear how supportive your husband is and how much joy your children gave you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ There is nothing like having a wonderful family. Thanks for sharing with us and nominating me to participate this challenge! I'll post it on my blog later for sure ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks again. Khloe. How do you feel about the nomination? I wasn’t sure whether you did these kind of posts, but thought you’d make a good job of it, if you did. I nominated you anyway but, of course, if you’d prefer not to, that’s perfectly OK. Not everyone has the time. โค

      1. You’re most welcome๐Ÿ˜‰. Honestly, I don’t have much time these days as I’m pretty busy lately. I will see how these things go. If the time allows, I would love to do it. Thank you very much for understanding!!!๐Ÿ˜˜โค๏ธ

      2. I know exactly how you feel. I have three Award posts to do as well, and don’t know when on Earth I’m going to get them done! ๐Ÿ™‚

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