Be Thankful Challenge

This is the first challenge post I’ve done since the ‘Three Quotes Challenge’ (twice) a few  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 😀 ):


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 part 

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 Abode ). 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 🙂 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: £) and caused enough worry to give anyone dozens of ulcers. But who’s counting little things like that . . .?  

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. 🙂 I’ll put off telling him a little longer, I think. 

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.  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’ for her lungs, she’s had a hip replacement operation and one to realign her wrist. As always, she’s taken it 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,  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  -or aging, if you’re in the US – should be abolished.  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. 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  a nation I believe we do it well – is provide aid for those who so desperately need it. 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,  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