The Handwritten Christmas Card

How many of you still send physical hand written Christmas cards? What is the feeling you feel when you receive one in the post?

I know how I feel when I receive a hand written card in the post, all warm and excited and a huge grin appears on my face. Exactly the same as when I receive hand written letters from penpals (yes these still exist and there are many people out there writing to each other on a regular basis). To some, this is unfortunately a dying art. A lot of people would just rather use social media as a means to send a message, this is great but it loses that personal touch.

There are so many shops out there that sell Christmas cards and a lot of charitable ones too. Every penny helps!

Last year I sent out over 100 Christmas cards just to Post Pals, a great charity to help put a smile on a poorly child’s face. Check the charity out and maybe spread a little extra Christmas cheer this year.

I also sent out quite a few to friends, family and penpals. Some are home-made cards, some are for different charities and some are just cosy looking Christmas cards. With all the cards I received back, they were placed on display all around the living room (and I still have them stored away).

With the way the country/world is going at the moment, I think there needs to be a bit of cheer spread around. If you would like to receive some Christmas joy through the post in the form of a Christmas card, drop me a message. Send me a DM, leave a comment or you can leave me a comment on twitter @SharonSAtkinson, or even leave me an email at  I will send a card to all who would genuinely like to receive one.

It’s early I know, but Merry Christmas all.

Christmas is Just Around The Corner

I know a lot of people are talking about Hallowe’en, but for those of you that know me, know that I am basically Mrs Santa Claus in disguise. I start planning Christmas presents from as early as January. Well, what I think is, if I see something that I know a friend or relative would like, I get it. I will only be disappointed if I go back a few months down the line and that certain gift is no longer available.

In the last couple of years, myself and Sally have a Christmas word and each letter represents a different present or presents. This year’s word is TINSEL.

We broke down the word as below:

T              –              Theme
Choose a certain theme that you know that person will like. Gift(s) must be related to that theme. It is not as easy as it sounds.

I               –              Internet
Items must be brought off the internet. We have to spend £7.50, no more and no less on as many items as we can for that amount. All must be wrapped separately. I have spent exactly £7.50 and I have managed to buy 15 items that relate to things I know Sally likes (well I hope she will like them).

N             –              New
This is an easy one. We have access to each other’s Amazon wish list and we get a gift or a few from that list.

S              –              Stationery
There is no year that goes by when we do not buy each other stationery. We are both addicts so this comes easy. It’s just remembering when to stop!

E              –              Eateries and Drinkies
You can’t very well have Christmas without a little sweetness. Sweets and possibly drink treats like flavoured coffees or hot cholates, or even flavour syrups to add to your favourite drink.

L              –              Love yourself
This is just a little love to give back to ourselves. Something to pamper us and make us relaxed.

Thing is, I wont actually stop there as Sally brought a new life into the world this year, so I also get to spoil a little one on her first Christmas. She already has a Christmas eve box of goodies, not including her actual Christmas gifts.

What would you get for each of the letters above?

I also take part in a couple of Secret Santa’s, and they are so much fun. I love spreading the Christmas cheer and finding little treats that I hope will light up someone’s life.

Do any of you part-take in Secret Santa? Tell me about it.

Voices of the Rain

I’ve listened to the voices of the rain
And realised that heaven is not in pain

The joy I get from the rain on my face
Is just another tear put in its place

The voices are calling to one and all
We’re here to help, we heard your call

Try not to be so sad we’ll be gone soon
It’s the time of year for the roses to bloom

We can carry your messages to those you love
We are always watching you from above

Now I stand to hear the voices of the rain
I fear them not and feel no pain.

How has your life changed since last year?

This is not a completely easy question to answer, in my personal opinion.  Has my life changed?  Slightly, yes.  It’s changing, but has not completely changed.

After losing my dad so suddenly, it has made me more determined.  I have realised that life is too short, which is one of the main reasons I decided to go back to studying (as well as working a full time job).  I always wanted to be a teacher and people in the past seemed to have put that idea out of my mind.  Well I took a big step and signed up to The Open University and I have just completed my first module of a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing.  It’s a long way off but it might help towards me becoming a teacher ‘eventually’.

I have self published another one of my short stories and there is another one in the works.  This has made a path for new readers reading my words and they have told me how much they enjoyed what they had read.  Amanda over at Chocolate Pages wrote an absolutely lovely review and I can’t honestly thank her enough.  How has this changed my life, well it has made me more determined to finish some of my unfinished projects and even pick up my novel again, which is finished but does need a lot of work done to it.

I have a few things I will attempt along with continuing with the writing and studying and that is lose a few pounds in weight, tick a few things of my bucket list (hopefully).  Hopefully continuing to partake in these activities will help change my life for the better.

How has your life changed since last year?

My top moments for 2018

As you can tell it has been a while.  Honestly, I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind.  So better late than never, I thought I would share with you my highs of 2018.  There is no preference here, just things that made me happy.

Sally’s Birthday Treat Day
Well it was a special birthday for her, so what better than to spoil her.  A coffee to start with birthday presents followed by a manicure, then lunch at Cotes and something for our postal nerdiness, we visited The Postal Museum. What a great day.

Completing Walk All Over Cancer
This was tough for me, but I am happy to say I actually smashed it.  It felt great after completing it and obviously raising money for a great cause.  Thank you to all you who sponsored me, your help was very much appreciated.

This was my first time attending this conference.  I had a blast.  I was nervous at first, but I was made to feel part of the family.  It was extremely informative and who doesn’t like a huge goodie bag (free).  It wont be the last time that I attend.

Leigh – on – Sea
I had gone past this place on the train many times and finally instead of going to Southend, I got off the train and decided to explore the little fishing town.  It was the perfect place to do some writing and as an added bonus, the sun was out in all its glory.

Hades and Athena
Well after the sadness of loosing my little boy Thor, my heart was naturally broken.  A few months after loosing him, my dear other half bought me two black kittens.  A brother and a sister whom we named, as you can tell, Hades and Athena.  They are beautiful and have brought a smile back to our faces.

Started my Open University Degree
I should have done it when I was younger, but I think loosing dad made me realise that life is too short.  I have always wanted to do a degree and be a teacher.  At the not so young age of 42, I have started my BA in English Literature and Creative Writing.  Apparently you are never too old to learn something new.  I am currently coming to the end of my first module and apart from the time flying by, I have enjoyed it so far.

Even though I come from England, I had never been to Edinburgh.  So for mine and Sally’s Christmas get together, we decided on Edinburgh this year.  We travelled first class on the train and it was perfect.  It was so beautiful.  Admittedly it didn’t stop raining, but that didn’t matter.  We had each other’s company, snacks and Christmas movies.  We were in heaven.  I will go back as I really wanted to visit Edinburgh Castle, so now I have an excuse to go back.

Thunder Christmas Party
For those of you that know me personally, will know of the obsession I have with a certain group called Thunder.  I have seen them numerous amounts of time.  I never get sick of seeing them and no one show is ever the same.  I had never managed to get to one of their Christmas shows before.  This time I was going.  It was my little Christmas present to myself and it was worth every penny.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely.

So there you go.  Its only five months late, but these were the highs of 2018 for me.


Dad (2)

It’s never easy when you lose someone you love. Especially when it is someone like you father.

Two years my dad was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a form of blood cancer. He had to endure months and months of chemotherapy. When he ate, it made him feel sick, he didn’t want to do anything and then he got better. Great news he was told he was in remission. He had beaten the horrible disease. In February this year after been told at a check-up he was still in remission, a couple of weeks later, he was not feeling too well and was rushed into hospital. He was told the cancer was back and that it had attacked four different areas and was much more aggressive than before. No one wants to hear this.

He was started on a more aggressive form of chemotherapy, which unfortunately drained him of energy. He struggled to walk, to eat, everything unfortunately was a struggle for him. He was hospitalised again.

Mum and dad celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary on 17th May.  They had been together for 46 years.

On the 19th May, we get the phone call. “Are you coming to see Mr Atkinson, today.” We know that is never a good call to receive.

What was weird on the 19th May, even though my mum lives 20 minutes from the hospital and I live 2 hours from there, my mum, my brother and myself all arrived at the hospital at the same time.

We were too late. 11 minutes after the hospital had called my mum, my dad closed his eyes and was out of pain.

On June 8th, it was dad’s funeral. Our final farewell. I told mum, I would like to do a reading at the service. Something that I had written myself. A piece that is personal to us.

For Dad

Firstly Dad, we all thank you
For the home you gave us
And for all the love and things we had

Do you remember when we were young
You’d call us, for a gift we thought
But instead to be your remote control

With your special love you showed us the way
To believe in ourselves
And the decisions that we make

We will always remember you being there
Making us laugh
And sometimes making us cry

We may have caused you trouble and strife
With the paths we chose to walk
But you were there and walked them with us

Through the good and the bad times
No matter what
You were there for Mum and all of us

Now you are with your mother and your father
Playing trains with your younger brother
Amongst your heroes, like you are to us

Dad you may have left us far too soon
But know this
We love you always and you will never leave us

You are to us and always will be
Our Dad, a Grandad
And Mum’s true love.


They were the hardest words I ever had to write and even harder to read aloud at the service.  I did it though and I know dad was standing there beside me as I did.

Sleep tight dad. We will love you always.



Writers Block – A Sonnet

Have you been asked what inspires you to write?
Does your answer change from day to day?
The people around me fills my delight
And listening to what they have to say

What should I write?
I ask myself A poem, a story, something descriptive
I look towards my inspirational shelf
Maybe it’s time for something less addictive

Will my words flow from the pen to my page
And let my inner feelings be set free
Or will they stay locked within my writer’s block cage
Where no one but me can see

No one should say that writer’s block has over taken
When inspiration is around us everywhere waiting to awaken.