Recent Reviews for HARROWING

I was sooo excited and chuffed to see my latest thriller novel, HARROWING, featured on a couple of book review blogs!!


The first review is by the lovely Theresa Hetherington of Kindle Bargains UK Book Review Blog.

Annasuya Rose is a temp office worker, she has a son Romeo, her new boyfriend is called Calvin. Things are good, theyre happy and everything is well.

Until Annasuya takes 1 job, it’s in a office, the boss though, Bruno, is not fine! He rapes her and though she escapes, things begin to get scarier. A dark figure following her, complaints about her at work.

This isn’t necessarily an easy book to read. The rape is obviously hard to read. Written well and not dragged out. The topic is a heavy one, but tackled head on and in a way I wanted to keep going, I needed to know they were ok, what was happening next! This book put me in mind of a good old horror & the escapes, with the challenges of Annasuya, how she & others tackled and dealt with everything thrown at them.

You can read the original blog post here:

The next blog review got my friend all excited, because the gorgeous Gemma of Gemma’s Book Reviews compared HARROWING to SAW (the movie)! She told me she’d be uber ecstatic if someone ever likened a book of hers to SAW!

Of course, in my humble opinion, SAW is a masterpiece whereas my book is…… well…… just another thriller. But see for yourself:

Thanks to the author for letting me review her story and TBC. I must be honest and say that at first I wasn’t enjoying it due to personal reasons, but as I continued it got better and I was hooked after the first part which I found hard to read. This is a VERY dark story something close to SAW (the film). It is easy to read and I found after the start I raced through it. The main character is a very unlucky woman and faces the worst fate I could ever imagine. Brilliantly written with a great horror plot throughout. This story will hold your attention throughout. I must also mention with the young boy involved it made the whole situation worse throughout the book, I kept thinking poor little boy but he’s a strong, determined boy. I would recommend this book to you all but with the warning it is a dark story and contains rape, which some readers may find hard to read or cannot read.

This is the ideal story for readers who enjoy a brilliant horror, suspense, thriller and mystery rolled into one spooky plot. Be thankful its not you in this story and that its fiction. Now breathe. I need a lighter read after this one. Enjoy.

Read the original blog post here:

Anyways, I couldn’t just stop with blog reviews. I’ve been absolutely BLESSED to receive tons and tons of positive reviews on Amazon as well. Anyways, it’s not my intention to bombard you, so I won’t reproduce them all here. But I’d love to feature two of my fave reviews.

5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Can’t recommend this book enough, Superb!!

Format: Kindle Edition

Wow!!! I absolutely loved this book. The pace was breakneck speed, the characters were well rounded – some likeable, others most despicable.

I’ve been trying to grow my nails recently, well this book put a fast stop to that! They were bitten right down so I need to read something now that will give them a chance to grow again!

Just as I got to a few chapters from the end I started to feel calm and at ease – then BAM! Another toe curling, lip chewing few chapters.
I absolutely LOVED Harrowing and I cannot wait to read its sequel.

Many, many Thanks to the author Serena and Helen Boyce at THE Book Club on Facebook for gifting me a copy of this Awesome book in exchange for a fair and honest review. highly recommend this book.

5.0 out of 5 stars This book lives up to its title!

Format: Kindle Edition

This book is awesome. Not only is the story well written, it also keeps your interest from chapter one to the ending page. The attention to detail is amazing! I have read a lot of thrillers and the horror genre and I can honestly say that this book has them beat. The characters are another reason for reading this book. They are not just going through the motions, they portray a lot of emotions which you feel throughout the book. The characters are another reason this book is so wonderful. They are not one dimensional, just going through the motions. You feel what they go through. This book does deal with sensitive subjects so I would recommend it for anyone 18 and above. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

As I’m sure you can imagine, this post isn’t just going to abruptly end here. Of course not. I have to include the links so you can get the book for yourself, and see what everyone is talking about. Right? So here are the links:


Happy reading!


HARROWING – New Thriller Up For Sale on Amazon!

HARROWING. For a limited time at only 99c.


A fast-paced, haunting, action-filled tale of persecution and murder… and what the love of a mother can do.

When Annasuya Rose is raped by her boss, she thinks it’s the most terrible thing that could possibly happen to her.

She has no idea that her nightmare is only just beginning.

When nobody but her boyfriend, Calvin, believes her version of events against the suave and sophisticated businessman, she turns to social media to prevent the same thing happening to somebody else.

But now someone is stalking her in the dark, menacing her with threatening messages and creepy phone calls, breaking into her house late at night. A sadistic killer who exults in killing and mutilating… or worse.

A sadistic killer who will stop at nothing to get her.

When Annasuya’s ten-year-old son disappears, she realizes she must follow the killer down a terrifying and evil path to save her beloved son. A path which leads to danger. Torture. Agony. Even death.

And the most terrible, heart-wrenching a choice a mother could face.

Now available on Amazon, at:

Grab Your Freebie Today!

Well, I don’t know how many of you are into novel-reading. But for those of you who actually read in this day and age of video consoles and computer games hehe, my first two novels are up!

And what’s more, today and tomorrow only, you can catch one of them completely FREE on Amazon.

Here’s a bit more info.

IN THE PRISON OF OUR GRIEF (FREE today and tomorrow on Amazon)

In the Prison of our Grief - S.E. Amadis

A harsh prison in England.

The grisly, tragic murder of three babies.

The murderess is on the loose… And Carrie Anne’s made friends with her.

Will she be able to find out the truth in time? Or will she become this sadistic murderess’ next victim?

Once again, Carrie Anne finds herself in the centre of another terrifying ordeal…

In this exciting sequel to Patricia, we follow seventeen-year-old Carrie Anne Houghton and her new comrades-in-arms in a whirling, dizzying, action-packed adventure that spans two continents, from the glitzy high-rises of New York City to the lonely expanses of rural Canada to the glamour and colour of Mediterranean tourist resorts.

Persecution, murder, lies and deceit. Traps, stormy Gothic settings, abandoned mansions and secret passageways. All of this comes to vivid life in the pages of In the Prison of our Grief.

An action-packed adventure thriller featuring a strong female protagonist and a quirky male counterpart. This book can be read as a stand-alone.

You can download it WITHOUT PAYING A SINGLE CENT, from:


Patricia - S.E. Amadis

A chilling Gothic revenge thriller that takes place within the claustrophobic confines of a remote and isolated boarding school.

There’s something dangerous and menacing about Patricia. None of the schoolchildren are safe when Patricia and her gang of bullies is around. Least of all geeky, sweet and innocent Carrie Anne Houghton, whom Patricia has somehow singled out as the scapegoat for her cruelest jokes.

Only Carrie Anne knows what Patricia is really like, having once been held prisoner and tortured by Patricia, making her the only one who can stop her.

But Patricia is far more dangerous and sinister than even Carrie Anne realizes. Carrie Anne has no idea who – or what – Patricia really is… or what Patricia is truly capable of.

Now Carrie Anne’s chilling ordeal, one she had escaped from years before, will begin all over again. This time, will she make it out alive? And if she does, how will she ever be able to protect the people that she loves and save them from Patricia?

You can buy this book from Amazon too:


You will need a Kindle to be able to read these books. But if you haven’t got one, you can download a free Kindle app for your computer, Android phone or iPhone from Amazon, here.

I’m also working on getting a physical book out, for those of you old-fashioned types who delight in black words printed on white paper to read in your bed at night. But that will take me a little while.

And if you LURRVE these books (or even if you don’t), please don’t forget to LEAVE ME A REVIEW up on Amazon! I’d also feel real chuffed if you’d leave me a comment here, telling me about it.


Praying For Paris

Hi all! Nope, no new post or article today. I’ve been working on some new, all-encompassing projects lately that have been taking up all my time.

I’m sure by now you’ve heard or read about the terrible, horrible atrocities that have taken place in Paris these last few days.

I’ve been to Paris a few times and it’s one of my three most fave cities in all the world. I’ve even dreamt of going to live there sometimes – if I were ever able to tear myself away from my beloved tropical paradise, that is!

I find it hard to understand that daesh can possibly believe that anyone can garner support and sympathy for their cause by killing beautiful, innocent people. Wantonly, senselessly and in cold blood.

The only thing they can accomplish with their acts of cowardice is to make the good of the world unite even more strongly than before against them.

It seems a complete irony to me that daesh consider themselves to be the righteous and the good of the world, while they look upon those who oppose them to be evil and the damned.

Don’t they understand that it is in fact those who kill, especially in cold blood, who are truly the damned ones carrying out acts of evil?

Another thing that saddens me is that events like this only serve to increase senseless hatred and racism towards people of Arab origin all around the world.

So please, don’t be a racist. Think that probably every single person you know or encounter on the street of Arab origin is probably just a normal, loving person like you. With his dreams, desires, aspirations. Someone who only wants to be happy in life, be with his loved ones, have a good time. Just like you.

It’s not exactly their fault that they sport Arab features, have ancestors that hail from the Middle East or possess last names like Mohammed or Suleiman. They didn’t exactly choose their appearance, ancestors or last names.

Now, I’m not saying that there are no terrorists of Arab origin in the world. But these are probably, like, 0,0000001% of all people of Arab origin in the world. And there are also White terrorists in the world, and is everyone now going to throw stones at every White person that they meet just because there are also White terrorists in the world as well? Of course not.

But unfortunately, racism is just an example of yet another scourge in our world. And daesh seem to be doing all that they can to increase and inspire more racism in the world.

On another note, I can’t imagine saying good-bye to my loved ones one night while they go out for a night out on the town in such a SAFE city as Paris, on their way to a rock concert or dinner out at a restaurant, as I’m sure we’ve ALL done so many times before in our lives. And then finding out within a few hours that our loved ones are no more. That we will never see them again.

The only thing I can say is to remind everyone (including myself) of how precious life is. And how we have to treasure and make the most of the time we have with the people that we love. Because we never know how much time we have left together.

As I said, no new article today. Merely a note to let you know that my heart, thoughts and prayers are with all of you affected by the tragedy in Paris, which, obviously, should NEVER have occurred.

And as I always say to Subscribers on my website,
Remember to live your dreams today!

Remember ALWAYS, and even MORE so in these times, that LOVE is the strongest force in the universe.

LOVE is stronger than bombs, or guns, or swords.

And those who are moved by LOVE will ALWAYS win, in the long run, over those who are motivated by hatred, bigotry, scorn or disdain or intolerance.

And since they always say, the way to fight hatred and intolerance in the world is with BEAUTY and LOVE, here are some images of BEAUTY to fight terror and hatred with:

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Stronger Than Steel / Plus Fort Que L’Épée

Blood Is Thicker Than Water

Anti-Vaccinations: Dying To Be Natural

Just a Short & Silly Post

Best Friends

Today I was sitting around thinking about my good friend in Madrid, let’s call her Lana (not her real name). For years, when I lived in Madrid, we were inseparable.

Inseparable Friends Peace Sign

Lana and I are still in touch. But it’s not the same anymore.

When I lived in Madrid and she was single, she was a real rebel. Heavy metallist, rebellious, anti-conventionality. It’s ironic that now she follows all the conventions and all the things that people expect of her.

We met in the choir. Both of us sang in a choir. We hit it off right away and soon became fast friends.

We were both wild and rebellious, both of us a lot in character like George of the Famous Five, except we had – and still continue to proudly sport – long hair. The difference between us is that whereas I’m quite shy and diffident around people, especially people I don’t know well, Lana is very talkative.

I thought about all the things we’d done together, so many fun experiences we’d shared. Going home one night after a night out clubbing, at 3 in the morning, we decided to start howling like a bunch of cats in heat, waking up the neighbours.

Going to visit an apiary, that is, a bee farm, with a friend of hers. On a hiking trip to observe vultures. Like me, at that time she was very much into hiking, and we often went on hikes together.

Climbing into a water ride at the amusement park one hot summer day, two mischievous little urchins in the same boat with us thought it would be fun to throw water at us. We threw water back, and soon it was all we were doing the whole ride long. We went on that ride I think it was about eleven times with those same two mischievous urchins and had a blast.

Another time we went to a field that was off limits. One of those private properties where trespassing is forbidden. There was a very high fence around it to prevent people from jumping in. We wanted to play in that field. Not because we especially wanted to play in a field – although we did, and it was a very large field – but mainly because it WAS forbidden. On that occasion we went with our friend, the boy I would one day marry haha.

We were absolutely DETERMINED to get into that field come hell or high water. My boyfriend gave us a boost up onto the top of the wire fence. We reached down and pulled him up. So far, excellent.

The problem came when we went to jump down. The shirt I was wearing got snagged on the fence, ripping off half the hem when I jumped down. Unphased, we continued into the field and carried on playing. I don’t remember what we were playing now. Some kind of ball game, maybe?

When we tired of playing and it was time to climb out, this time it was Lana who got snagged on the sharp, poking-out wires of the fence. In her case, it was her jeans. The wire poked a hole in her jeans. However, jeans are sturdier than shirts, and neither was she able to rip herself off the fence, nor could she disengage herself or unhook her jeans from the wire.

She couldn’t simply jump or pull herself down, because then the wire would have gouged into her skin. In the end, we don’t know what she did, but she had to extricate herself from the wire all by herself because we couldn’t get back up again.

I remember one hiking trip in particular. We planned to go with a good friend of hers, Elena. In those days Lana had the bad habit of always arriving very, very late. This was in those times before mobile phones.

Anyways, we were going to meet up at Chamartin train station. Elena arrived, and we started spinning about the station in search of Lana. Aware of her tendency to arrive late, we didn’t give up when she still hadn’t shown her face after we’d been combing the station for a long time.

At last, we both saw her get off the escalators looking like a scarecrow, with wild eyes and swivelling her head in all directions. It was so late, she was convinced that Elena and I for sure must have taken off without her. Of course, being loyal friends, we hadn’t. We grabbed a train to some mountains north of Madrid, whose name I’ve now forgotten. But they are well-known and people often go hiking there. Gredos, I think.

There were a lot of people on the same trail we were on. We walked to the end of the trail, where lots of people had set things up and were playing, eating and just generally having a good time. I believe there was a lake there as well. All of a sudden it started to rain – one of those unexpected, unpredictable mountain storms. All the people started taking off down the trail.

It was quite a long trail. We were perhaps halfway down the trail, when Lana suddenly realized that she had forgotten something in the clearing where we had been playing. We had to trek all the way back, in the rain, to retrieve the lost object. This time when we turned around to go back, the mountain was completely deserted.

After what seemed a veritable odyssey, we finally straggled back into town. We were starving. We had packed a picnic and we wanted to eat. But of course, there was no way we could have a picnic in the rain. We didn’t know where to go.

At that point, we noticed a building that was in construction. It was halfway built. It had floors and stairways, sustaining columns. And most importantly, it had a roof!! That was all that mattered to us! Within seconds, we were rushing up the stairs to the second floor (for greater privacy haha). We plunked down onto the floor, relieved to finally find shelter from the cold rain after what must have been hours, and enjoyed our picnic with numb, blue fingers. It was just a silly thing, perhaps, but I remember we didn’t stop joking and laughing all the way.

With Lana I travelled to Granada, Cuenca, the Alpujarra, Morocco. We had a blast in Morocco. At that time, her family lived in the compound of the Spanish consulate in Tangiers, and I spent several days there. We also took the train to Larache.

We wanted to go to the beach in Larache. But unlike in Europe, it’s impossible to go to the beach in Morocco and even less so if you are two young girls. In Morocco, just the fact that you have long hair and wear a skirt, and especially if you are unaccompanied by adult males (although the presence of adult males is hardly a deterrent), is enough to draw in all the Moroccan men as if you were, well, some sort of rare prize or something.

So we had to defer on our beach plans. But even so, we had a great time together in Morocco. I remember going to the souk with Lana’s mother, and eating pistachio ice-cream. Mmmhh.

Today Lana is married, with two kids, like me (except I’m not married, of course!), and we live our separate lives in cities more than 500 km apart. We still chat via WhatsApp. She’s no longer a rebel, commutes two hours a day to get to work, gives her kids communions and attends all her and her hubby’s family events: baptisms, weddings, engagement parties……

She no longer goes out hiking or for walks in the country. They very rarely even go on holiday. She never travels, except to the family home on the beach.

I wish she lived here in Malaga, near me.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

The Meaning of a Friendship

Childhood Friends

How Much Do YOU Value Your Friends?

Hot Muggy September Nights

Anti-Vaccinations: Dying To Be Natural

(This is the same post I put up earlier, yesterday. But I made a few changes, and I changed the title, so now it goes up as a new post. But if you’ve already read yesterday’s post, you don’t need to read this one since it’s almost the same.)

I wanted to put up another travel post this week, but I felt like this subject was more pressing. After all, the sights and monuments will still be there a week from now haha!

Lately there’s been a lot of controversy in Spain about vaccinations, due to an outbreak of diphtheria in a child whose parents had decided not to vaccinate him.

Many people believe that vaccines are dangerous or have lots of terrible side effects, like autism, because they think there are toxins in vaccinations such as mercury.

Well, if you DON’T get your child vaccinated, then what are the chances that he will catch a terrible, potentially fatal infectious disease like diphtheria, measles or polio? Compare that to his chances of getting autism from a vaccination.

English Cemetery Malaga

The Children’s Cemetery, English Cemetery, Malaga, filled with the tombs of children killed by infectious diseases in the 1800’s.

Which do you think is higher? His probabilities of becoming seriously ill from an infectious disease that is highly contagious but easily preventable by vaccines, or his probabilities of “picking up” autism from a vaccine?

To top it off, it’s now been shown that the link between vaccines and autism was, in addition, nothing but a hoax and a lie. (You can read more about this news here: Autism and Childhood Vaccinations.)

Vaccine-Related Autism Was a Hoax

So in addition to NOT protecting their children from dangerous illnesses, turns out parents who oppose vaccinations have even NOT been saving their children from autism, either. Their children were never in danger of “picking up” autism from a vaccine shot, because vaccines don’t cause autism to begin with.

And as one person I know put it: “I’d rather have a child with autism who’s alive, than a dead child who died from an easily preventable infectious illness.”

Long-term Effects of Serious Infectious Illnesses

Here is what can happen if your child gets ill from diphtheria:

(Quoted from the Mayo Clinic, link to original website here.)

Left untreated, diphtheria can lead to:

  • Breathing problems. Diphtheria-causing bacteria may produce a toxin. This toxin damages tissue in the immediate area of infection — usually, the nose and throat.
  • Heart damage. The diphtheria toxin may spread through your bloodstream and damage other tissues in your body, such as your heart muscle.
  • Nerve damage. The toxin can also cause nerve damage. If C. diphtheria toxin damages the nerves that help control muscles used in breathing, these muscles may become paralyzed. Respiration may then become impossible without a respirator or another device to assist with breathing.

Diphtheria is fatal in as many as 3 percent of those who get the disease.

This is what happens if you get measles, another infectious illness that is covered by current immunization campaigns:

(Once again, thank you for the information, Mayo Clinic, original link here.)

Complications of measles may include:

  • Ear infection. One of the most common complications of measles is a bacterial ear infection.
  • Bronchitis, laryngitis or croup. Measles may lead to inflammation of your voice box (larynx) or inflammation of the inner walls that line the main air passageways of your lungs (bronchial tubes).
  • Pneumonia. Pneumonia is a common complication of measles. People with compromised immune systems can develop an especially dangerous variety of pneumonia that is sometimes fatal.
  • Encephalitis. About 1 in 1,000 people with measles develops encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that may cause vomiting, convulsions, and, rarely, coma or even death. Encephalitis can closely follow measles, or it can occur months later.
  • Pregnancy problems. If you’re pregnant, you need to take special care to avoid measles because the disease can cause pregnancy loss, preterm labor or low birth weight.
  • Low platelet count (thrombocytopenia). Measles may lead to a decrease in platelets — the type of blood cells that are essential for blood clotting.

And how about polio, another infectious illness that is easily preventable by following the regular vaccination schedule for children. As a side note, I had a teacher at school when I was a schoolgirl, she was quite young to be so ill, only 35. She suffered from chronic health problems as a result of contracting polio as a child, before vaccinations existed.

(As usual, thanks to the Mayo Clinic for the info, original article here.)

Paralytic polio can lead to temporary or permanent muscle paralysis, disability, and deformities of the hips, ankles and feet. As a result, children who survive polio may spend their lives with severe disabilities.

Well I could continue onwards, since there are a number of diseases that can be easily prevented in children by a simple vaccine shot, included in the vaccination schedule and available for free to all children, at least here in Spain and probably in most developed countries.

Infant Mortality From Infectious Diseases Before and After Vaccination Campaigns

As a parent who obviously loves your child, do you really want to go through the anguish of seeing your child seriously ill, on the brink of death, perhaps not even surviving, because YOU refused to provide him with something so easy to obtain as a simple vaccine shot?

Think about how many people, especially children, died or suffered from lifelong disabilities, as a result of contracting any of these easily preventable infectious diseases before vaccinations existed.

As an example, in the US in 1921, 15,520 children died from diptheria.

On the contrary, in the US last year, ZERO (yes read it, 0) children died from diphtheria, thanks to routine vaccination of all children.

People Who Oppose Vaccinations

Some people who oppose vaccination said to me once, “Why do I need to vaccinate my children? They’re at school and they’re perfectly healthy. Besides which, all their classmates are vaccinated, so their classmates can’t get the disease and pass it on to my kids.”

Yeah that’s right, another word for this is called riding on someone else’s coat-tails! So, you want other parents to run the “risk” of vaccinating their children so your children won’t get sick? Is that it?

Come on, gimme a break. How selfish can you get?

That’s like living in a shared home where you do no housework and never clean up after yourself, and expect the rest of your housemates to be your slaves and clean up after you!

And as for your kids being perfectly healthy today, well, that’s just the way it is with illnesses. Today your kids are bouncing with energy and life and just won’t get out of your hair, and by night-time they’re flat on their backs with a fever of 40º Celsius (that’s round 105 for those using the old-fashioned Fahrenheit thermometers).

Just be thankful for your blessings that your kids are happy and healthy right now. I know I am, every minute of every day.

But at least I know my kids won’t be dead from meningitis by nightfall. Meningitis can kill literally within hours from the time the first symptoms appear.

But I don’t have to worry about that. Because my kids are vaccinated.

Are yours?

My Hippie Friends’ Point of View About Vaccinations

Once upon a time I was a hippie (maybe there’ll be more about this particular theme one day……). Most of the hippie crowd I hung around with believed in living the “natural life”.

They didn’t hold jobs, preferring to make a few bucks (well, euros) by pawning off stuff at handicraft fairs or selling their old rags on the street. Some were squatters, since they didn’t want to enrich the pocketbooks of people they perceived as avaricious, Scrooge-like, power-hungry landlords.

Some were beggars, or spent their time spaced out on booze, hash and cocaine.

Most of them advised me not to vaccinate my baby. Because it’s “not natural”, they told me. Or because my baby could pick up autism from the vaccinations, or have an allergic reaction. Because breast milk naturally protects babies, they said.

Well, getting a vaccination is “not natural”, but illnesses ARE natural and which do you prefer? A NATURAL illness, or “artificial” protection from that illness?

And by now we have debunked the autism myth. As for the allergies, well, you’ve got as much chance of developing an allergy to vaccinations as you have of developing an allergy to anything else in the world. And you’re not going to avoid strawberries, eggs, milk, wheat, nuts, flowers and trees (pollen, you know) and cats and dogs, just because you MIGHT one day develop an allergy to all these, are you?

And yes maybe breast milk does provide some protection from infectious diseases (always supposing, of course, that the mother was vaccinated herself……). But are you going to feed your baby breast milk for the next eighteen years, until your baby grows out of the high risk age for contracting infectious illnesses?

All the same, since I was into the same hippie crap as all my friends in those days, I did consider not vaccinating my beloved son. One conversation with a good acquaintance changed all that.

Dead Babies in Africa

He travelled regularly to Africa. He told me about all the little babies that he saw dead or dying every day in these countries from polio, meningitis, diphtheria, measles.

None of these children had to die. A simple vaccine shot could have saved them all.

If you asked any of these parents if they would have preferred their child to suffer from an allergic reaction to a meningitis vaccine – easily survivable, since it is easy to counteract an allergic reaction – or what did happen, that is, their child dying from this illness, what do you think they would say?

So yes please do forgive me if I sort of tend to see “opposing vaccination” as a rather arrogant, ignorant, holier-than-thou, anti-society First World problem. I don’t think one single parent in Africa who had seen their child die from meningitis, or become permanently disabled from polio, would think twice about running as fast as their legs can carry them to the nearest vaccination station (if they’re lucky enough to even have one in their country) and vaccinating all their remaining children.

Finally, since they say a pic is worth a thousand words, a few months back we had the opportunity to visit Malaga’s English Cemetery and take photos. This cemetery was founded in the 1830’s and I was especially moved by the oh so many tombstones belonging to little children who had died in the 19th century.

Children used to fall like flies in those days. As a mother, you knew that most, if not all, of your babies would never see their fifth birthday. And measles, meningitis, polio, diphtheria and whooping cough were the main reasons for this.

Chidren's Graves English Cemetery Malaga

These one-year-old twin babies died within days of each other from one of the above mentioned infectious illnesses. The same goes for all the little inhabitants of the graves surrounding them. And the ones that fill up the Children’s Cemetery of Malaga’s English Cemetery.

Is that what you want?

If not, the solution is simple.

Vaccinate your children.

And let them bury YOU one day, rather than you being the one to bury THEM.

As usual, positive, non-spammy comments are ALWAYS welcome! I LURRVE to receive them!

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Stronger Than Steel / Plus Fort Que L’Épée

Malaga’s English Cemetery

Blood Is Thicker Than Water

Recovering The Past

Rant About Sexism

I’m in a mood for ranting, I’m afraid, because as the mother of a teenage son, sometimes we quite naturally don’t see eye to eye on some things.


My son has an aunt who has live-in domestic help. So her kids don’t have to do any work around the house. My son, of course, notices that. And as is only natural, he can’t help but compare that to his own situation, where he does have to do chores around the house.

And then he gets whiny and complains and he thinks that’s not fair.

I personally am against parents not making their kids do things around the house or not making them learn to be responsible for things. I personally think that having a maid makes kids arrogant (or it can, if the parents don’t teach proper respect to their kids). And of course if parents don’t make kids learn to be responsible, they’re not all of a sudden going to become responsible of their own accord when they leave home.

In fact, I think it’s a major problem in general here in Spain, especially with boys. And I’m not saying this because I have a bone to chew with Spain or the way things are done here, nor do I mean that everyone I know is like this. These are only my own personal observations, based on people that I know here, and my own personal experiences.

I understand that there might be other people here who don’t agree with me, or who have observed different things than me. Because perhaps they move in different circles, or because of variations in the way things are done in other parts of the country.

Here in Spain because people had a hard time during the war and during Franco’s dictatorship, they want to spare their kids all the hardships and as a result, I see many parents acting too lax (compared to what I am used to) and spoiling their kids. A lot of Spanish kids never have to do any chores around the house. In Canada most kids that I knew growing up had chores.

Spanish girls still realize, when they reach a certain age, that they have to learn to do some household tasks or they will not be able to get on when they grow up, like cooking and cleaning and things like that. But most Spanish boys think that when they grow up they will get their wives to do all the household chores. So they never bother learning how to do any household chores and they don’t see the need to learn to do them.

Many Spanish kids are super irresponsible and their parents don’t know what to do with them. It’s even a major problem here, parents who feel dominated by and sometimes even scared of their own children. My best friend has a teenage son who can’t even pack his own schoolbag. His father has to pack his schoolbag for him.

Personally, I believe in making kids responsible and making them do housework. But the machismo (sexism) here is just incredible and sometimes I find it just so disgusting and intolerable.

For example, in the some circles I know they are always saying things like, a REAL woman is the perfect mother, a REAL woman runs a perfect household and has a perfectly clean and tidy house. A REAL woman is a sex bomb in bed and always leaves her husband with a grin on his face. A REAL woman works hard (unlike her husband and sons who shouldn’t have to do anything).

I just really really really don’t understand sexist attitudes in women. Then afterwards women complain that they don’t get equal and fair treatment. If they’re the first to jump up and force other women to succumb to sexist attitudes to begin with!

I find that in places where the culture is very sexist, often it’s the WOMEN who defend the sexism most fiercely. And I really don’t understand why. Don’t women WANT to have equal rights? Why do women here WANT to be forced to spend all their time cleaning and cooking? Don’t they WANT to do something else?

But apparently they DON’T want to do anything else. They don’t see anything else worth doing in life.

I know lots of women here who when they are at home, they never sit still. They are always dusting or tidying their living-rooms. When you ask them why don’t they sit down and relax and watch some TV they will tell you they can’t, that it makes them feel bad to see dust on the table or some object not perfectly aligned.

Oftentimes these women will even have husbands who are not that sexist, and their husbands will say something like, oh but you’re the most amazing housewife ever, no one keeps a more immaculate house than you but you work so hard, you’ve already worked too much, why don’t you come and sit beside me on the sofa and we’ll watch a TV show together?

And the woman will reply, I can’t, there’s still so much work to be done, the shelf is dusty and I haven’t vacuumed the closet today.

Of course my son doesn’t want to be responsible and he doesn’t want to do housework. That is normal, no one likes to work. And kids want to get away with as much as they can. So he doesn’t understand why it isn’t good for him to do no chores or why it isn’t good for him to not be responsible for anything.

I saw a movie about a Spanish woman who married an Afghan man who had been here studying in Spain. They decided to go to Afghanistan to visit his family.

When they got there, the Taliban invaded the country and forbade Afghan citizens from leaving. So they couldn’t return to Spain. The woman could, of course, but her husband couldn’t. And she refused to leave him.

They were staying with the husband’s family in a rural area. The house didn’t have a bathroom, the bathroom was a corner of the back yard. And then the woman became pregnant and she wanted to visit the doctor, but the Taliban forbade women from going to see the doctor and she had to visit the local midwife.

She wanted to see a doctor, she couldn’t imagine having a baby without receiving proper medical care. And then this is what happened.

All the women in her husband’s family started to scorn her and say things like, what is wrong with Western women? You are all so weak and useless. A REAL woman can have a baby all by herself. A REAL woman is strong enough to have a baby all by herself. A REAL woman doesn’t need a doctor because she can take care of herself.

Doctors are for men because men are weak and can’t take care of themselves. All men are little boys at heart and that is why they need a doctor, but a REAL woman is strong and doesn’t need a doctor.

Now, I don’t want you to think that I think that only supposedly “backwards” cultures, like Latin cultures or Afghanistan, are sexist. Right in Canada there are a ton of “machistic” attitudes. I have a friend there who was married to this horrid sounding guy. All he ever did was drink beer, throw all the beer cans on the floor, lie around on the sofa and expect my friend (who is female) to clean the house. Fortunately she is not with him anymore.

So guys, if you’re reading this and you’re a guy and you’re one of those (hopefully more and more rare all the time) who think that by acting “macho” you will get your gal, you can think again. You might get A gal – probably one of those women I referred to earlier who can’t relax and watch a TV show with their husband. (Or do anything with their husbands, for that matter, because the only thing they know how to do, or have any interest in doing, is clean their house!)

So, what do you think? Do you live in a sexist culture? Do your kids do housework? I’d love to receive your (positive, non-spammy) comments!

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

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Just a Short & Silly Post

Well this is just a short and rather silly post. There’s no theme to it, and not much point to it either, really.

I always wonder, when I read about people living in faraway countries, what it is that they see every day when they leave their houses and go about their daily business. What are streets like in other countries? What do the buildings look like there?

So this is a typical street in my neighbourhood. Nothing extraordinary about it. It’s not a neighbourhood that stands out for anything in particular. It’s not a place tourists come to browse around. It’s not an especially luxurious neighbourhood. Just a typical working class street in Malaga.

Malaga Street

How does this street compare to streets in your city or town? Please do leave me a comment, I lurrve to receive (positive, non-spammy) comments!

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Paleo Paleo Boom Boom Boom

I just found a diet by chance that lots of people are raving about. In theory it sounds like a nice, interesting diet, that has a lot of health benefits. But in practice it’s full of foods that I hate and you can’t eat the foods that I love.

It’s called the Paleo diet and its premise is that people should eat like cavemen did because we evolved to eat what cavemen ate.

Paleo diet drumsticks

So cavemen ate mostly meat, roots and fruits and berries. And that is what is in the diet. You can eat any veggies and fruits, nuts and seeds. You can eat olive oil and butter and coconut oil. So far so good, I like all these!

But you’re supposed to fill yourself up with meat all day long. And you can’t eat cakes or pies or burritos or bread or oatmeal. I HATE meat (except maybe chicken wings).

They say that cereals and grains have lots of toxins and people were never meant to eat them. Cavemen didn’t eat them. People didn’t have flour until they started growing crops.

People who follow the paleo diet report lots of health improvements like greater flexibility and mobility, their pains are gone, if they had illnesses especially chronic ones these illnesses are much better or gone, they have no digestive ails……

The thing that surprises me the most, though, are the photos of paleo children. They all look so radiant and healthy. Vegetarian children, on the other hand, tend to look rickety.

Well I’d read that children need to eat lots of protein because they are building themselves and they build themselves with amino acids. But adults? Unless you’re a weight lifter or something……

And what about all the nitrates from eating too much meat? And what about all that uric acid that forms kidney stones? Don’t paleo eaters have those problems?

Well I dunno. I read the interviews with some of the longest lived people in the world. A 114 year old Scottish grandma said she owes her great health to never having remarried (after she was divorced or widowed, can’t remember which) at an early age, and to eating oatmeal every day of her life. And a 114 year old man in the US said he ate a banana a day all his life. On the other hand, a 114 year old Italian lady attributes her great health to never having married and eating 2 eggs every day. She also eats pasta every day because all Italians eat pasta every day. (Well all Italians that I know, anyways, so no one accuses me of stereotyping!)

A 114 year old granny here in Spain attributed her longevity to eating only foods that she loved and never listening to what scientists said you should or shouldn’t eat. Her favourite food was crispy fried bacon and she admitted to eating a plateful every day. The employees at her nursing home confirmed it. They said every day they prepared a plate of crispy fried bacon for her, which she enjoyed with relish.

(Okay, I know it sounds like they were all 114 years old. The truth is I don’t quite remember their exact ages. But they were all around 114 (maybe 113, 115……).)

Anyways, if you think about it, cavemen were all short and muscular. But after agriculture and learning to make bread, people became tall and willowy and skinny.

Also, humans making the evolutionary leap to growing crops and making flour is what has permitted all the evolutionary development that we have enjoyed since then. It’s quite clear that as long as cavemen were spending their whole lives chasing buffalo around all over the place, they could never develop anything like civilisation, the arts or written language.

Cereals and grains are the basis, as far as I’m aware, of just about every society on earth. Even if a culture doesn’t eat much wheat, they do eat SOMETHING that is a cereal or grain: millet, rice, corn or maize.

So I don’t think something that is eaten every day by people all over the world, and has been eaten by people all over the world since prehistoric times, could be that bad for you, could it? If cereals and grains were that toxic, you would think that humanity would have been extinguished long ago.

I think it’s quite clear that the paleo diet is something that could only have been invented in the United States and it will probably never become a big hit in Spain. Because BERRIES feature prominently in that diet. And guess what? Berries don’t grow in Spain!

You probably didn’t know that. And I lament it a lot. Because berries are my favourite food!

But it’s too hot for berries to grow in Spain. Only up in the north, where the weather is similar to North America or France or other northern European countries, they have berries. But in the rest of the country it’s citrus fruits and citrus fruits and more citrus fruits. And olives, of course. You can’t believe how much Spaniards LOOOVEEE their oranges and lemons!!

And strangely enough I don’t love oranges or lemons very much. My theory is that you acquire your taste for food at an early age, you’re not born with it. And you acquire a taste for the food that you eat the most at that age. So in Spain everyone eats oranges all the time, because it’s what there is. Here berries are imported (at exorbitant prices) from northern countries – and no one likes them!

Anyways, an interesting theory, that of the Paleo diet. But I really don’t think I’m very much up to it. I just can’t STAND the sensation of a fillet or thick chunk of beef. Ugh! Gives me the shivers and the creeps when I imagine chewing away on one of those.

Besides which there is nothing tastier in the whole wide world than a good chunk of freshly baked bread, soft and spongy on the inside and crispy and aromatic on the outside. Mmmhh!

Pan con aceite

What about you? Do you follow or believe in any special diet? Please don’t hesitate to leave me comments. I LURRVE to receive (positive, non-spammy) comments!

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FREE Ebook This Weekend Only!

Just a quickie to let everyone know that this weekend only, I’m GIVING AWAY my latest ebook, “I Love Him, He Loves Me Not: How I Left a Codependent Relationship” FOR FREE.

How I Left a Codependent Relationship

Now, it’s not really my intention to start up a new and thriving career writing ebooks, so it will probably be a looong time before I ever have another ebook up for free. (Or even put this one up for free again – which I will probably never do again!)

You can get all the details on the Amazon page by clicking here.

Well, won’t get into the sales pitch and all that or anything here. You know if this is a subject that interests you. If it doesn’t, I’d still love it if you’d continue browsing through the rest of this blog. I’ve got lots of posts in it hehe!

And if you ARE interested, well, grab the day! Take advantage of this moment and snatch up your copy of “I Love Him, He Loves Me Not: How I Left a Codependent Relationship” for free. Before this promotion ends forever!

Once again here is the link.

How I Left a Codependent Relationship