Foley's blogs

Foley's blogs

My blogs

blogging about my books

Marriages & Relationsips

Guiding ThoughtsPosted by Foley Western Wed, March 05, 2014 14:18:42

Should you only marry your own kind? There are arguments for both sides in my estimation, but the real answer is NO.

Marriage is about the coming together of two people who love each other for themselves, not their race, their colour, their wealth or lack of it. Relationships, what ever the make up of it will survive if They show respect for one another, If they apologise when wrong and accept apology quickly when given, If they strive to always tell each other the truth, If they show each other respect and If they can help it, Not raise their voices to each other and to think before they speak.

A marriage is supposed to be made in heaven but if it is to work in the 21st Century it has to allow both partners to discover their inner potential rather than being merely an institution for living together and raising children,

The best marriages are probably better today than at any time in history because spouses are looking for something other than simply sharing the same home, a goal which would have been acceptable a century or more ago, but now couples are also looking for a spiritual connection, with similar goals and ambitions which they describe as finding their soul mates.

All couples argue, and some disagreements may not be bad for building a relationship. But when arguments become heated, that’s when blame, criticism and name-calling comes out, sometimes unintentionally. And too much of that isn’t as good for marital happiness, as plenty of research show

Women take more responsibility for emotional harmony in a marriage.

It’s important for partners to realise they have a lot of emotional influence on each other. There are two people in this dance, but women may have to take the first step to show him the way and other things will follow.”

This may be something that husbands and wives know intuitively, but now there’s science to back up these hunches

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A Chance

Guiding ThoughtsPosted by Foley Western Fri, February 28, 2014 11:41:05

The quality of mercy is not strained,

It drops as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;

It blesses him that gives and him that takes:

IT is the mightiest of the mightiest: it becomes

the throned monarch better than his crown;

His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,

The attribute to awe and majesty,

Wherein sits the worry and fear of kings;

But mercy is above this sceptred sway;

It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,

It is an attribute to God himself;

And earthly power then show likeness to God's

When mercy seasons justice.

Therefore if law is all we cling to with no mercy or

kindness, then none of us should see salvation:

We do pray for mercy; And that same prayer does teach us

all to render The deeds of mercy to everyone.

William Shakespeare

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Do you have a purse full of Loyalty Cards?

PersonalPosted by Foley Western Fri, February 07, 2014 11:55:33

If you tipped your purse out would you be surprised at how may Loyalty Cards you have collected over the years? But do you actually use them to their full potential and do you actually know what it means when you do use them. I think the answer you would come up with would be no to both questions. Don’t worry you are not alone.

With points, rewards and cash-back schemes being offered by all the major department stores, supermarkets and a variety of other big brand chains we need a bag just for all the loyalty cards on offer. Have you ever been behind someone paying for their goods and watch them route for a handful of cards before they find that shops loyalty card. Have you been ‘that’ person? I am guessing you can answer yes to both too.

These are the regular ‘Loyalty Cards’ that have found their way into my purse and out of the eight above two don’t get used, four occasionally, with the other two on a weekly basis. Do I know what perks they can offer me – yes I have a fair idea of most of them. So let’s take a look at the ones that deserve to take up room in my purse.

Boots Advantage Card allows you to collect 4 points for every £1 you spend and the points you accumulate can pay for future purchases. Not a regular Boots shopper but over time my points do build up, and especially around Christmas shopping time and I normally find I can treat myself to a little something special once the New Year starts.

Tesco Clubcard have a variety of options to gain points with purchasing in store and online being the best way to collect points at 1 point per £1 spent. You can also collect points on fuel although you only get 1 point for every £2 you spend. Points are converted into clubcard vouchers and you can use instore, or turn into days out vouchers, cinema tickets, or vouchers to eat out. I think I have used my Tesco Clubcard vouchers for most things and definitely worth collecting if you have children and like the zoo.

Nectar Card works similarly to Boots Advantage Card and can be used in Sainsbury’s, Homebase, Ebay and British Gas. Mine gets used solely for Sainsbury’s where you get 2 points per £1 spent in store and online. Points add up to a cash total with 200 points equalling £1 and my points are being saved to use at Christmas, and something I am sure many customers decide to do.

Costa Coffee allows you to collect five points for every £1 you spend, with each point being worth a penny and can be used for future coffee and cake treats. Whenever a shopping trip is arranged there is always a visit to Costa Coffee, so for me this one has to stay.

Why not take a look at what is in your purse and see if they should stay or go and make room for a loyalty card that is going to be worth carrying around.

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National Storytelling Week

ChildrenPosted by Foley Western Sat, February 01, 2014 11:54:30

It is said storytelling began a very long time ago when man collected words and spoke to lift life through fables, tales and stories, often accompanied by hand movements and facial gestures. Nowadays storytelling is a huge part of life that starts as early as the infant years and continue through life until the last years of life. Storytelling is not just for entertainment, it can help aid bereavement and therapy, support learning difficulty and special needs groups, to even improving communication in the business world. The act of sharing stories between storyteller and listener feeds the imagination and is continued to be passed from one generation to another.

Today sees the start of the 14th annual National Storytelling Week which is run by The Society of Storytelling. It begins today Saturday 1st February and last until the following Saturday 8th February. The aim of the National Storytelling Week is to spread the ‘word’ and promote ‘the oldest art form in the world’ – storytelling. You might have seen posters in your local library or art gallery with details of how they are celebrating National Storytelling Week, or if you have young children their school may have decided to include National Storytelling Week in their school week.

You can find out where and when events in your area are taking place on The Society of Storytelling website where there are lots of information and resources for everyone to use.

Why not have your own storytelling event and help spread the word. All you need is your imagination and a willing audience and it doesn’t matter if it is 1 person or 100 people, keep the joy of storytelling alive and pass the ‘word’ on.

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Atlantis - Merely Just A Myth

Guiding ThoughtsPosted by Foley Western Mon, January 27, 2014 11:38:35

What springs to mind when you hear someone mention the word Atlantis? Do you conjure up images of underwater cities and mythical characters or remember the latest TV or film to hit our screens that depicts the lost city under the sea? So is Atlantis merely just a myth or did this now submerged city once look out over the ocean that surround it.

According to Plato, one of the world’s best known philosophers, Atlantis was in fact a major sea power located in the Atlantic. His accounts included detailed descriptions of Atlantis, the mountains and plains that surrounded the great city and its successful conquests of parts of Western Europe and Africa. It is also believed, after a failed attempt to invade Athens, Atlantis supposedly sank into the ocean and has remained there ever since.

For many years archaeologists, architects and scientists have tried to discover the exact location of this missing city and searches have, with the help of the information Plato shared, been focused on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic as the most likely sites.

We have seen how much of their life these specialists devote to carrying on their research and finally get the proof they have been long searching for. Astronauts have gone into space and landed on the moon, surely experienced divers can locate Atlantis and show the world that Atlantis was more than a figment of a great philosopher’s imagination. It would be interesting to see what comes to the surface in the future.

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12 years slave

Guiding ThoughtsPosted by Foley Western Thu, January 23, 2014 13:21:29

Of course we must not forget tof as well.

Kind regards to you all xx

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12 Years A Slave

PersonalPosted by Foley Western Tue, January 21, 2014 19:38:08

It seems that one particular British director is not only making headlines but waves in the film industry for his latest film - 12 Years a Slave.

Based on the nineteenth century memoirs of Solomon Northup and adapted by screenwriter John Ridley, the film follows Solomon’s as he goes from being a well-educated family man from New York State to being sold into slavery in the south due to his colour. This type of kidnapping was rife in these times. The film is not an easy watch for even the hardest of souls and if you only decide to watch just one film this year, make it this one. An important story told from first-hand experience dating back centuries. Told with passion, conviction and grace.

Steve McQueen is no ordinary film director, and 2014 looks like it will be the year he makes his mark in the film industry and add to his growing collection of accolades. Awarded the Turner Prize for his artwork, one of the highest awards given to a British visual artist and also appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to the visual arts, McQueen is regarded as one of the best.

Now it looks like his latest big screen drama production may just allow him to get his hands on the much sought after Oscar, an award most actors, directors, producers would give their last dollar to have amongst their achievements.

So far 12 Years a Slave has won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, Drama and a Critics Choice Award for Best Picture, with Lupita Nyong’o also winning Best Supporting Actress and John Ridley for Best Adapted Screen Play.

It has also notched up 10 BAFTA nominations and 9 Oscar nominations many in the same categories. This film and everyone associated with it will surely be keeping their fingers crossed that the awards keep coming their way.

As for the talented, unassuming British Director, Steve McQueen has certainly cemented a fruitful future amongst the greats of Hollywood and beyond and it has only taken one great film for the world to remember his name. A name they surely won’t forget and one that will hopefully be amongst the nominations once again.

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Chocolate Sponge Cake

PersonalPosted by Foley Western Sun, January 19, 2014 19:21:39

Last week the nation was treated to four ‘charity’ bake offs for Sport Relief and a little something to keep the loyal followers happy. Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood pulled apart, literally, the celebrity bakes whilst viewers watched, laughed, cringed and cheered at the screen.

It really got me thinking of baking and one particular cake that seemed to be a big feature – The Chocolate Sponge Cake. So I thought it would be a great idea to share Mary Berry’s own recipe for the perfect Chocolate Sponge Cake and see if there are any potential bakers amongst you.

Preparation Time: 30 to 60 minutes - Cooking Time: 30 to 60 minutes – Serves: 8





50g/2oz cocoa powder

6 tbsp boiling water

3 free-range eggs

4 tbsp milk

175g/6oz self-raising flour

1 rounded tsp baking powder

100g/10oz natural caster sugar

For the icing and filling:

150g/5oz dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

150ml/5fl apricot jam

Icing sugar, to dust

Preparation method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins with baking parchment.

2. Put the cocoa powder and boiling water into a large bowl and mix well to make a paste. Add the remaining ingredients and beat again until combines. This can also be done in a food processor, but take care not to over whisk. Divide the cake mixture between the prepared tins. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until well risen and shrinking away from the sides of the tin.

3. Meanwhile, for the icing and filling, measure the chocolate and cream together in a bowl and stand the bowl over a pan of simmering water for about 10 minutes, or until melted. Stir from time to time. Set aside and leave until cool and almost set.

4. Once baked, remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely. Spread the tops of each cake with apricot jam. Fill the cakes with half of the icing and spread the remainder on top. Draw large “S” shapes over the cake with a palatte knife to give a swirl effect. Dust with icing sugar and serve in slices.

Perfect to serve with a nice pot of tea, or a freshly brewed cup of coffee when you visitors, or as a dessert accompanied with custard, cream or ice cream.

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