Subscriber Giveaway

Hello, are you well? I certainly hope you are.

I’m good, home schooling is intense, and I’m sure my two cannot wait to go back to school for a break! I think they are working harder at home, there’s no escape from teacher, and its virtually one on one. They don’t get this amount of sustained attention at school.

Anyway, this is a post about a giveaway for my Monthly Letter subscribers. It is my way of saying thanks, and to celebrate the fact I’ve been blogging now for a decade. The anniversary slipped past mid February, just as Covid19 was gaining momentum.

I wasn’t sure if it would be appropriate to run the giveaway, but I decided to go ahead because it may just bring a little bit of joy to someone, and to me too. The catch is you need to be receiving my letters at the end of every month.

Its not too late to sign up by the way, click the button below. The letter will be sent on 31st March and I’m including lots of positive things.

Inside will be a LINK inside the letter that needs to be clicked and that is all!

With GDPR making giveaways a bit of a minefield in their old format. I did a bit of research (thanks Juan) and discovered a way to reward my loyal readers.

Beware; for I am fearless and therefore powerful.

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.

The prize: Frankenstein anatomical heart necklace and pin from the Gothic Literature Collection by Literary Emporium. This prize is not associated with the Lit Emporium, this is something I have sorted myself. Do check out their website here.

T’s & C’s of the FRANKENSTEIN giveaway;

  1. Giveaway open until midnight (GMT) on Monday 13th April 2020
  2. Open worldwide
  3. The prize is as stated above and worth approx £20
  4. Entrants must be 18 or over and subscribe to Susan Earlam’s monthly letters
  5. To take part entrants must click on the relevant link/text in the email letter
  6. One winner will be chosen at random shortly after the closing date
  7. The winner will be informed by email, using the address they are signed up to the mailing list with
  8. If the winner doesn’t respond within 7 days, I will draw another winner
  9. I will post the prize within three days of the winner responding (providing the Post Office is open)

Free Printable- Kids Covid19 Home School Timetable

The world is reeling from a virus that is sweeping through populations. Aside from my own thoughts about this, political, ecological and more, many of us are now facing home schooling our children for the near future.

As a former teacher and a very organised Virgo I wanted to contribute something that might make life a little easier?? Or not? We can but try.

Full disclosure, I spotted this timetable in an article on Mom Trends (find the useful article here), whom I believe originally found it in Black Parenting Magazine. I just wanted to make a version that is a little easier on the eye.

It’s not perfect- there are a couple of typos, and I took a couple of shortcuts creating it, but wanted to get this done quickly, just to get it out there. Click on Download to get the PDF version. If I update it/improve it will share again here.

Best of luck, we are all in this together. A moment in history that is literally changing the world as I type. Its okay to cry if you need to, its okay to have fun still too. Just do the best you can and don’t panic buy please!

Let me know if you use this timetable and if you need to chat, I’m on email at the envelope icon above and on social @susanearlam

Also- if you want to sign up to my monthly letters, you get;

  • free access to my download library
  • a letter from me at the end of each month with some great resources and things I’ve enjoyed or found helpful
  • AND I promised to run a giveaway too for my subscribers this month so I’ll be going ahead with that as planned

New download library

I’ve created a section of the website for those who subscribe to my monthly letters.

Its a password access resource library and is home to downloads that I have created and used in my life. I thought you might find them useful too!

Currently within the library is;

  • A blog post checklist
  • A downloadable set of vouchers for thrifty giving
  • My Blogging & Beyond presentation for Altrincham Word Festival 2019
waste free gift
An example of one of the vouchers
Screen shot from the presentation

Sign up to my monthly letters and you will receive the password for these resources. If you are already a subscriber then look out for the next newsletter!

If there are any other downloads you’d like to see from me then please get in touch!

Billy’s Cat Quirks

This post is in conjunction with Whiskas® but all thoughts are my own.

It is almost a year since we adopted our cat Billy, the 16th February to be exact.

He’s just so fluffy!

We adopted Billy from a good friend of mine who was downsizing. A mutually beneficial adoption because it means they can still come and visit him (and me!) and I can ask any questions about his history that may come up. His former owners know how much he is loved here, and how well he has settled in.

Happy as…

Bill is a middle aged cat at the age of eight. This means he isn’t as active or lively as a kitten, although he has his moments. We brush him weekly, outside, which helps him maintain his coat and avoid furballs, as he loves to clean himself. We give him dry food which helps keeps his teeth in excellent condition and is suitable for middle age. Optimum nutrition also means his glorious coat stays shiny and fluffy, look at that belly fluff!

He has a habit in summer of drinking from any vessel that happens to be outside containing rainwater. So, as well as always having fresh water in a bowl next to his food, in summer we put another clean bowl on top of a small table outside for him. Middle aged cats can be prone to UTI’s, so we want to avoid this. Take a look at treats that can help with Cat Care He loves surveying his kingdom from a higher vantage point and with the clean water I know he’s not drinking anything he shouldn’t, and that he is getting enough.

He also loves sleeping high up too!

Billy is a Bengal Cross, his mum a pure Bengal and his dad a big ginger tom cat… This explains his size! One of the things my pal told me about Billy, and Bengal’s in general, was that they are a bit like dogs, I took this to mean that he likes being played with, but its so much more.

Okay, to all you non cat people reading, this might sound mad. He has different facial expressions. Ranging from interested, to happy, to worried. Billy could win an Oscar for method acting. See below:

Yes, Susan. I’ve forgotten I cant get down again.

If you follow me over on Instagram, you’ll see him regularly pop up in my Stories, usually sleeping or looking very cute.

How dare you even consider leaving?/Don’t go!
cat smiling

Some more of Billy’s quirks are;

  • He wants to come out with us when we leave the house, looking so sad and forlorn on the stairs as he watches us go.
  • Like a dog he is protective of us, especially the kids. There’s been a couple of times when we’ve all been asleep at night and one of them has had a nightmare and been calling out, but we’ve not heard. Though Billy has, and he’ll start meowing loudly to to wake us up. Only when he knows everyone is okay, he’ll settle back down again.
  • When I’m not feeling great, usually down to endometriosis and that time of the month, he’ll often insist I sit down and rest. Leaping onto my lap like a much needed furry hot water bottle.
  • He LOVES attention, making himself look as cute as possible so we give him a fuss and a cuddle.
  • When we have a cup of tea in the evening whilst watching something, he’ll look at us like, “Where’s mine?”
  • He goes on our pergola, but forgets he doesn’t know how to get down. So there’ll be a little face at the bedroom window, often startling me as I’m putting laundry away.
  • He loves voices. If I’m on the phone to my husband he’ll come running over and start rubbing his head all over me and the phone. He does this with any kind of video played through a phone too, like he’s just sooo, interested in what you are watching.

Have you got a cat? What are their quirks?

King Billy 😉

Gladstone’s- the library you can sleep in

This blog post is way overdue (excuse the pun) but I’m still so excited to share with you my solo trip to Gladstone’s library, last October.

Writing desk in my room at Gladstone's library
The desk in my room

First up, this is a paid-for trip. A birthday gift from my husband. A weekend away, by myself, meals cooked for me, allergies catered for, as many books as I can read, silence if I wanted it, conversation with interesting strangers if I wanted it. Literally, one of the best birthday gifts ever.

At around 45 minutes from my door to library reception, this library where you can sleep is something I wished I’d tried sooner. Just outside of Chester, tucked away in the village of Hawarden, it is so much closer than I’d thought.

Gladstone's library exterior

I discovered, The Good Life Experience Festival is based here, which is run by the descendants of William Gladstone and the current Gladstone family live across the way from the library, splitting their time between the Hawarden castle estate, Scotland and London.

It’s in London where they run another business I’ve known about for a while but hadn’t realised the connections; vintage. Pedlar’s Market and Cafe to be exact. When I discovered all this information it made me feel like my path had always meant to bring me to this library.

Inside the reading rooms at gladstone's library near chester
Library selfie with the timer on my phone

I have to say I had a magical two nights at Gladstone’s. My room was on the ground floor and large, with the obligatory bookish wallpaper, desk and reading lamps. Situated just moments walk from the cafe area which caters brilliantly for every diet you can think of. From the windows in my room, I could see the nearby church and when the bells rang on the Sunday before I left, I knew that I would return.

sleeping with books at gladstone's library
Sleeping with books

The library itself is vast and there is a huge collection of books. With 26 desks you can choose to sit and read or work on something. There are a lot of writers here, from all walks of life. There are set meal times and this is when the opportunity arises to share a table and chat with strangers.

Whilst there, I got chatting with a couple who were hosting their annual writers group get together. I also had fascinating conversations with members of the clergy and with people from all over the world; if you are looking for character inspiration, random conversations make a great starting point!

So what did I do there?

  • I planned another novel.
  • I read lots.
  • I finished another read-through and mark-up of my own novel on my Kindle, amazing how a different screen and method of reading helps you see the tiny mistakes.
  • I wandered the graveyard and the village of Hawarden.

On the way home, I called in at Hawarden Castle Estate shop, I was blown away by the vast choice and quality of the stuff on sale. The cafe even had vegan cake, which of course I had to try. Highly recommend a visit if you are staying at Gladstone’s.

Guess what I got for Christmas? Another weekend away at Gladstone’s, I cant wait!

hawarden castle estate shop
Rainbow over the Hawarden Estate shop and Gladstone’s just beyond- magic!
Pumpkin season
Pumpkin season