Un-block Challenges

The Next Step – A short story.

He stared down at the newspaper. He really should call the newsagent and cancel the delivery but so far the thought of one more person apologising for his loss was too much. Better to just let it be, it was only a paper. Making his way to the kitchen he popped the kettle on then opened the fridge door. Row upon row of milk bottles lay unopened. He really should call and half the delivery. He paused. On second thought, a cuppa out would be a nice treat.

He grabbed his jacket and swapped his well-worn slippers for a pair of dress shoes. He wasn’t sure if they went with what he was wearing, Judy would have told him that, he shooed the thought from his mind. It didn’t matter, he had no one to impress anyway.

He walked down the street, hands in his pockets, keeping his head down, terrified a neighbour would stop him and offer more condolences. He knew they were trying to be kind but right now more condolences felt like the last thing he needed. He kept his head down and kept walking.

He stopped outside the café and looked in the window. Should he go in? His mind flashed back to sitting inside, waiting whilst Judy had her hair cut, after what felt like hours she’d appear. What do you think? She’d say with a huge smile. “Beautiful Darling”, he’d say, never really noticing the difference but her smile was all that mattered and that was truly beautiful. He turned to leave, he couldn’t go in there, not yet.

Across the road was a new café. It looked too trendy, one of these barista type affairs. Not a proper café. Still, he’d made it out the house, made it this far, maybe he should go in. No, I’m not young enough he thought, imagining the hipster type with their skinny jeans frowning at his questionable attire. But as he stood and watched a woman walked to the door and stepped inside, as she did, her scarf blew in the wind, causing her to drop her handbag, contents spilling across the pavement. Without even thinking, he crossed the road and knelt to help her. He picked up the pages of her newspaper and tried to sort them into some kind of order.

“Don’t worry about that, I’m not really a newspaper girl anyway, more of a book fanatic”, she said then gave him a beaming smile.

“Me too”, he said then chuckled. He handed her the scrunched newspaper and turned to leave.

“What kind of books are you into?” she asked.

“Oh, a bit of everything.”

“Ever read Fahrenheit 451?”

“Of course, a few years ago now, but it’s a book that sticks with you?”

“Great.” She beamed her smile at him again. “I am meeting my book group over by the window, why don’t you join us? This month’s book was Fahrenheit 451.”


“We’re a friendly bunch, besides I think I owe you a cuppa for helping me but I’d feel bad holding the group up any longer.” That inviting smile came out again. He looked up and down the street. He had nowhere else to be.

“Sure. Why not?” He said. Together they stepped through the door. Despite the nerves, he felt excitement, a new chapter was about to begin, it only took one small step.

“As exciting, difficult and memorable as our past can be, there comes a time when we have to get on with living.”

Patrick Carman Quote

Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (#WQWWC) hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right.

“As exciting, difficult and memorable as our past can be, there comes a time when we have to get on with living.”

Patrick Carman, The Tenth City

Change is often both terrifying and exciting whether that be a new house, a new job or even just a new chapter in life. I’m always curious about how people come to the decision to make that change, I find it’s often one small moment that causes them to take that leap of faith. Hope you enjoyed my tale capturing that moment.

I’m hoping to create a local book group to share my love of all things book related. I attended one years ago, it was at a local arts centre which sadly lost funding and closed. The group tried to keep going but the right venue was never available, pubs were too noisy, or had awkward seating or couldn’t reserve tables, the local bookshop and library both close at 6pm so were unusable and we couldn’t guarantee the numbers to hire a dedicated space, so it fizzled out. I am hoping to start a new one, hopefully with fresh eyes and excitement after (reportedly) more and more renewed their love of reading in lockdown. Wish me luck.

Take Care.


Un-block Challenges

Annndd…. Relax!

After a year of covid, you would think the last place anyone would want to be is at home. Yet, it is still the place I feel most calm, possibly the craziest too but definitely the calmest. Reading is my ultimate relaxation; my calm, my quiet, my happy place.

Ah! There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort. – Jane Austen

I recently sorted my to-read pile out. I went for the Instagram colourful trend. I initially started sorting alphabetically by author (of course) and even flaunted with by size but ultimately the colour option is a very beautiful way to display books, despite it going against the laws of librarianism – haha. I don’t often re-read fiction books, I tend to pass them on to friends or family members who I think will enjoy them or I donate them to charity, with the exception of a few.

My (mostly) to-read shelves.

With the kindle, I have a collection of books I cannot display, this makes it practically impossible to keep on top of my to-read pile. It’s also a secret cluster of hoarding that no one but me knows about. Over the last few years, I have actually shied away from reading my kindle for a few reasons. Primarily, my child, I don’t want him to associate me sitting on a tablet-like device as an okay way to spend large amounts of time, I would rather he see me do this with a physical book. I know this probably sounds insane and it is exactly the same hobby but I’m a bit nervous about children’s obsession with such tech and think having actual books around makes it easier for children to see and understand. There has also been quite a number of papers on this, notably; “Scholarly Culture: How Books in Adolescence Enhance Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Technology Skills in 31 Societies” and also, “Family scholarly culture and educational success: Books and schooling in 27 nations”. Of course, my child has their own bookshelf too (two actually). Of all the things he could inherit from me, I really hope a love of books is one of them.

 Do you still own physical books in this tech-savvy age? If so, do you have a certain way you prefer them organised?

Take Care.


Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (#WQWWC) hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right.

Un-block Challenges


The car is packed
I’m ready to go
To explore new places
I don’t yet know

The Dalai Lama
Gives the best advice
To be honest,
I don’t need telling twice

The time has come
I can’t ignore
I need to go someplace
I’ve never been before

When I return
Back to my home
I’ll have so many new stories
To call my own

Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (#WQWWC) now hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right.

“Once a year go some place you’ve never been before”

― dalai lama

I love to explore and go on adventures. I follow the Dalai Lama’s advice and try at least once a year to go somewhere I’ve never been (with the exception of last year and lockdown). I adore history so any form of historical or cultural aspect makes something so much more intriguing to me. In the 13 years my husband and I have been together we have never had a relaxing sunbathing type holiday, they are always jam-packed with activities. I normally create a list before we go of places we would potentially like to visit, then when on location I tend to chat to the locals to find out where they would recommend, this has almost always resulted in some amazing discoveries.

On a holiday in Scotland, after some advice from the family-run guest house, we ended up finding a beach only the locals use, it was actually past a golf course and looked like it was private but it wasn’t, only the golf course access was. The views were stunning, and it had everything, rockpools, a shingly pebble-y bit, a sandy bay, sand dunes and despite the fantastic weather, we had it completely to ourselves. Our two nieces who were on vacation with us told us it was the best holiday they had ever had.

On another occasion in Malta, after chatting for a while to a bus driver, he told us of a small town that was holding a religious festival. We had paid for bus passes for the week so to get there was free, after a few minutes of discussion we thought why not and honestly, it was brilliant. There was a huge parade with people singing and dancing, dressed up, waving banners. The crowds and the atmosphere was great (and it had yummy food for sale too – always a plus for me).

So, if you want to get a little more out of a trip, speak to a local. I always try to learn the words hello, please, thank you, goodbye and toilet in the local language before I go but other than that there is normally someone who speaks your language who is willing to have a chat and make recommendations.

Have you ever had a brilliant local recommendation whilst travelling?

Much Love

Un-block Challenges

Friendship Awaits

It was late and cold one starry night

I went to bed and turned on my light

I picked up teddy and snuggled in

Then reached for my book and let the story to begin

Welcome, he cried, the boy in blue

To the world of magic, here just for you.

He slowly reached out and took my hand

Then off we set into the magic land.

Dragons and pirates, gangsters and ghouls

Worst of all the dinner ladies from school!

We were the heroes in all the tales

The champions whom never failed

Despite the fun, I soon wanted home,

The boy in blue agreed it was time to go.

He brought me back to my room,

With the solemn promise – see you again soon.  

Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (#WQWWC) now hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right. I had originally thought the theme this week was friendship but it’s open choice. I’ve decided to submit this anyway as I loved the quote.

Much Love

Un-block Challenges

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Hope

“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”

― John F. Kennedy

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to hang out with one of the special little guys in my life. He’s super smart, totally adorable and I just know in his own way he’s going to change the world.

Childhood is a different thing for his generation, than mine or any before us. At his young age, he was so excited to show me his birthday present, a pc. I’m sure many parents fear such a thing becoming the wanted gift, yet despite all it’s granduer, one of the exciting things to him was all the lights changing colour, showing me, that innocence is still there, for now. There is no doubt, children are growing up quicker, how could they not with so much knowledge at their finger-tips?

His mother is one of my favourite humans on earth, like him, she’s so incredibly smart, strong and brave. Her quick-thinking wit is one of my favourite aspects of her personality.

They used to live in an old Victorian house. One day, in his wisdom, the young man and one of his friends decided to turn off all the lights and have a ghost hunt. My friend (being the secret genius that she is), took a blue tooth speaker and hid it under a bed. Just as the boys gave up hope of finding their ghost in the attic suddenly ghostly noises began downstairs. It is amazing how quickly the boys no longer wanted to find a ghost.

Thanks to the magic of the modern age, this pure delight was all caught on camera. Enjoy!

Heath and Devon’s Ghost Adventure Video

The boys still don’t know about the speaker! So, maybe technology does have a place in preserving innocence and imagination? Maybe it just takes us adults thinking outside of the box about how to use technology in more adventurous ways. It may not be building dens, and making mud pies but this video shows kids just being kids and having an adventure, and I love it.

Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (#WQWWC – Hope) now hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right.

Much Love

Un-block Challenges


I started researching healing ideas for this post and I was immediately drawn to this quote by William Wordsworth:

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart – WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

I wrote and re-wrote several posts but nothing felt right. So in my frustration I took to google and after a few wasted clicks around, I came across an article on gods of healing. Inspired I put pen to page (in reality fingers to keyboard) and started to pen a story about the Asclepius but in reality, the legend itself is really rather interesting so I thought I would share it instead.

The story of Asclepius

The ancient Greek god of healing and a son of Apollo, Asclepius is till today, still widely associated with medical assistance.

His staff is the de facto symbol of modern paramedic forces. Historically, many temples of Asclepius were also located throughout Ancient Greece. The most famous of these at Epidaurus is today, one of the most visited and important archeological sites in Greece.

Within Greek mythology, Asclepius was born in Epidaurus, the child of Apollo and a Thessalian princess named Coronis. Taught the art of medicine by the legendary Centaur Chiron, Asclepius eventually became so skilled with healing, he could even resurrect the dead.

Regrettably, doing so infuriated Hades, the Lord of the Greek Underworld, and on Hades’ complaint, Zeus struck Asclepius dead with a lightning bolt. The deceased physician was then placed among the stars as the constellation Ophiuchus by Zeus. Later, Zeus also resurrected Asclepius and made him one of the Greek gods of healing.


Many paramedic establishments use the “wrong” staff as a representation of medical assistance. In Greek myths, any staff with two serpents is that of Hermes, the Messenger God. Asclepius’ staff has only one serpent.

I have another story brewing in my head around the wrong staff ^ but it’s not coming to flesh either. I need my muse to pull her socks up and land on an idea, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy the quote and a bit of greek mythology.

Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (WQWWC – Healing). used to take part in this wonderful prompt many years ago when it was run by Colleen and Ronovan, so I was pretty pleased to have recently come across it again now hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right.

Much Love

*Source Information on Asclepius: https://owlcation.com/humanities/gods-of-healing

Un-block Challenges


I am not a poetry writer but I do love playing around with the magnetic poetry blocks found here (free):


So I decided to make a mini-story for a bit of fun. Todays mini-story is based on the theme of LONESOME.

The Lonesome Father by KL Caley

Short and sweet this one but I quite liked the twist.

What story will this week’s tiles have in store for you?
Have a go! Please link back any creations you make, I’d love to see them.


Photo by Julissa Helmuth on Pexels.com

Take Care Everyone and Stay Safe.

Much Love,

KL ❤


  • Create a marvellous creation using the prompt word
  • Link back here so that I can read your marvellous works of art!

Un-block Challenges


I am not a poetry writer but I do love playing around with the magnetic poetry blocks found here (free):


So I decided to make a mini-story for a bit of fun. Todays mini-story is based on the theme of GUEST.

The Unjovial Guest by KL Caley

I think we’ve all been at parties we would rather not be at for one reason or another.

It’s always a worry of mine, that guests don’t have a good time. I think I overthink or over-worry about it. I try to make sure there is something for everyone. Even down to food, last year we had a small gathering for my little one, and I made the buffet including several vegan and vegetarian options (despite only knowing one guest was vegan), and a ton of baby/toddler safe foods to accommodate for the children (including a large bowl of babybells which I knew was a favourite of one particular party-goer – obviously they weren’t vegan). Maybe it’s my upbringing but it’s always nice to be nice and to have everyone feel involved and welcome were you can.

What story will this week’s tiles have in store for you?
Have a go! Please link back any creations you make, I’d love to see them.


Photo by Julissa Helmuth on Pexels.com

Take Care Everyone and Stay Safe.

Much Love,

KL ❤


  • Create a marvellous creation using the prompt word
  • Link back here so that I can read your marvellous works of art!

Un-block Challenges

Happy St. George’s Day

Happy St. George’s Day everyone! Are you doing anything to celebrate it?

St. George’s Day image

As a Scot, my family love St Andrew’s Day, yummy food, sometimes questionable music – haha, and most importantly time spent with family and friends. My English friends don’t seem to do much for St. George’s day, hence I thought I would extend the question out there. I’m thinking cream tea or fish and chips should become the St. George’s Day dish (unless there already is one I am unaware of).

Do you have a patron saint or equivalent, with a special day for celebrating? Does your family do anything special, or even do you eat something specific to celebrate?

I think it’s sad St. George’s day and the flag has become somewhat synonymous with right-wing groups and football hooliganism and ruined it as a day just to celebrate with family and friends. I am very sympathetic to those who would like some form of celebration but feel they can’t. Some of my family are Irish and the thought of not celebrating St. Patrick’s day is practically sacrilege – lol.

St George’s story cards.

A bit about the legend of St. George:

St George is most widely known for slaying a dragon. According to legend, the only well in the town of Silene was guarded by a dragon. In order to get water, the inhabitants of the town had to offer a human sacrifice every day to the dragon. The person to be sacrificed was chosen by lots. On the day that St George was visiting, a princess had been selected to be sacrificed. However, inevitably he killed the dragon, saved the princess and gave the people of Silene access to water. In gratitude, they converted to Christianity.

It is thought that the dragon represents a certain type of pagan belief that included the sacrifice of human beings. Possibly Drivel but who can really tell.

Source of: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/uk/st-george-day

Included Prompt words inevitablesympathetic, and drivel.

Whatever you chose to do, I hope you all have a great weekend.

Much Love,
KL ❤

Inspiration, Un-block Challenges

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – World Earth Day Mash-up

As some of you may be aware, Thursday is Earth Day. In recognition of this, this week, I’ve decided to dedicate a post each day with information I have found inspirational or helpful. I’m a big believer in small changes can make a big difference.

This week’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge topic is Nutrition or Nourishment. It seemed too good an opportunity not to combine them both. One of the best quotes.

Lorax – Earth Day Image – Dr Seuss

Over the last few years, I have made small steps to change my habits for the better. Here are some simple things I have done:

  • Rechargeable batteries: Almost every battery in my house is now replaced with rechargeable batteries. Simple, easy and will probably save you money in the long term. Actually, even the pound shop rechargeable ones are pretty good for stuff like tv remotes.
  • Fold-up shopping bags: Obviously, we all know to take our own shopping bags with us, which I think most people do these days for a big shop. But what about when you just pop in somewhere for a quick shop (bread, milk or the emergency bottle of wine)? Fold-up shopping bags. You can buy these from Wilko. The fold-up ones are great to shove 1 or 2 in the glove box of your car for in case of emergency. They fold to about 6cm x 6cm so take up no room at all. Stops those emergency or excessive bag purchases.
  • Meal Plan: This is probably one of my favourite things (fit’s my OCD habits nicely). I like to meal plan as much as possible. The UN Environment Programme’s Food Waste Index revealed that 17% of the food available to consumers – in shops, households and restaurants – goes directly into the bin. Some 60% of that waste is in the home. The 923 million tonnes of food being wasted each year would fill 23 million 40-tonne trucks. Bumper-to-bumper, enough to circle the Earth seven times. If it were a country, food waste would be the third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.
    • My problem with meal plans is I like to do a big shop, then little top-up shops. Most meal plans are weekly, but I don’t have the time to generate one each week. So, I have created a monthly meal plan (attached). It’s fairly straightforward but basically, I write out my cupboard, fridge and freezer stocks. I write a list of favourite meal ideas. Combine the two. Write out the plan. Fill in the shopping list. Hey presto. Then each week I am only getting top-up shops; like bread, milk and fresh produce.
Printable Monthly Foodplan by KL Caley
  • Meat Free Monday: This is regarded as the easiest way to help save the world. I try to incorporate one meat-free meal a week into my food plan. Check out this website for your impact calculator. For those wondering how to get started, I highly recommend slow-cooked sweet potato and lentil curry, one of our favourites.
  • Switch to the Slow Cooker: I try to use the slow-cooker at least once or twice a week (often the meals portions make it more than once meal also). Popular wisdom says that a slow cooker uses only as much energy as a light bulb. The numbers back the theory: seven hours of crockpot cooking uses 0.7 kilowatt-hours of energy, whereas baking the same meal in an electric oven for one hour uses 2.0 kWh. In terms of CO2, if a meal requires one hour to cook on an electric oven it uses 2.7 pounds of C02, whereas a crockpot uses 0.9 pounds of C02 for seven hours. The numbers vary depending on the source but all are in agreement Slow Cookers, save you time, money and energy. Check out this website for some more info.
  • LED Bulbs: This one is obvious, and I think most people will now have changed all their normal lightbulbs for lamps etc. But every now and then we notice some additional bulbs we haven’t switched, such as the cooker extractor fan and kickboard lighting.
  • Grow your own: Super simple and interesting to do with the kids. It’s amazing how much you can grow with very little effort. We started off a few years ago with crops in pots on our patio, we now have an allotment. Growing your own is so rewarding, relaxing and interesting. A water butt is a cheap way to collect rainwater too, for those (rare as they may be in the North East of England), dry spells.
  • Switch Soaps: There are a lot of businesses now doing soap and shampoo bars. These tend to last a lot longer than plastic bottles and are often used with local and sustainable products. A friend of mine runs Soap out of the Garden (although there are probably companies more local to yourself). Her products are lovely, she uses all-natural products and avoids palm oils too. They also make lovely gifts.
  • Tassimo Coffee Pods: I wrote to both Tassimo, my MP and my local council last year over concerns about the lack of recycling in the North East of England – yes I am that person now! Anyway, I was delighted to be informed recently that Tassimo has introduced a free return service meaning they are now recyclable… called PODBACK. Tassimo is already quite a clever little machine, it reads each cartridge individually, knows exactly how much water is needed, how long it takes to brew your drink and the optimal temperature. This way, it only uses the minimum amount of water and energy, no waste. Now the pods are easy to return to be recycled.

I’m sure there are many, many more but those are the ones springing to the top of my mind now. Is there any you can think of?

Much Love
KL ❤

Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (WQWWC – Nourishment). A wonderful prompt hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right.