The Day After the Week Before…

imageAll great changes are preceded by chaos.

And how chaotic it has been. After twelve consecutive days of full rehearsals and six performances, we finally finished the production at work. By the end of Friday night, we were all completely shattered – the staff were exhausted, the kids were exhausted, even The Bloke was exhausted after being my personal taxi service all week and we had done it all during the hottest week of the year so far. I had counted down the days religiously for the last month, creating a list that I ticked off at the end of each day. However, rather ironically, after the final performance had ended on Friday night I was sad that it was over. It was going to be the last time I would ever work with some of my favourite students and it was my last ever show, and I felt an unbelievable sense of pride of everything that we had all achieved. My colleagues felt the same, and even my boss (who is normally very calm and collected) was so overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of what we had accomplished together in the last few weeks that he shed a few tears, which set me and many of the students off with him. My mum had come down on the train to see the performance too, and I was pleased that she enjoyed it, which I find quite amusing as she’s seen every performance I have done since I started playing the violin at eight years old, and at 33 I still seek her approval and value her opinion.


On Saturday morning, I was wide awake with some of the songs from the show in my head going round in a loop. My mum was staying for the weekend, and we had planned to go into Birmingham for a wander round. However, I was so tired we ended up going to a local pub, had a nice lunch, spent some time relaxing in the park in the glorious weather, and then we had a sleep for the rest of the afternoon. In fact, she pretty much slept for the rest of the time she was here – she’s had a horrible time at work recently and she’s been stressed and tired, so it was nice that she could completely relax and get some rest in the same way that I do when I go to her house.

However, this means that the blog, very much like so many areas of my life at the minute, is in a total mess, and after what seems like forever I finally have time to myself so I can attempt to catch up. I’m going to be over at #SundayBlogShare on Twitter for a large part of the day (which is trending again) and replying to comments that were left as long as three weeks ago. Even better, my head teacher has very graciously given me some days in lieu of the time that I have had to work on my days off, so I don’t have to go into work until Thursday.

Rock on.

What about you guys? Tell me how you have been getting on and catch me up!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page and Pinterest


Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Annual Bloggers Bash Awards – NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN


Great idea from Sacha… Who will you vote for?

Originally posted on Sacha Black:

NominateIt’s the 1st of July, know what that means? It’s ONE MONTH TO GO till the first ever Annual Bloggers Bash Party which is going to be in London on the 1st of August. To find out more visit the Annual Bloggers Bash Page.

Now, not all of our wonderful community can make it. The joy of blogging is that we can meet new friends from far away lands. So I thought we would do something that CAN include everyone. I am please to announce the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards.

Is there a blog you simply love? Has someone made you smile week after week? Maybe they have super helpful and informative posts? Or perhaps you have been inspired by them. Now is your chance to nominate a fellow blogger for one of these six awards. Winners will be announced on the 1st August at the bloggers bash and for all those not…

View original 630 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Want To Boost Your Traffic? Sponsorship Opportunities On Suzie81 Speaks

AdvertisingAre you looking to boost your blog traffic and following? Suzie81 Speaks is looking to give sponsored and advertising opportunities!

There are two different types of advertising opportunities available: a monthly sponsorship space and a single ‘Blog of The Day.’

Here are a few facts about Suzie81 Speaks (of which proof can be provided if necessary on request).

Since Suzie81 Speaks began in April 2013 (just over two years ago), it has received nearly 430,000 views.
Total number of views in 2013: 72,556
Number of views over 2014: 265,800
Average number of views a day in 2014: Between 600 and 1500.
Current number of followers: 12,650 (approx 6,800 WordPress readers, 5,800Twitter, 136 Tumblr). I also have a fairly new Facebook page with 330 ‘likes,’ and a new Pinterest page, and both are growing weekly.


I am offering advertising spaces here on Suzie81Speaks every month for a period of four weeks (and I say four weeks because some months are longer) at a cost of £25.00

A £25.00 advertising package will entitle you to:

A 185 x 185px button/banner in the upper right corner of the page, with a direct link to your blog/company, which is a fixed feature for every page of Suzie81 Speaks.
A reblog of one of your posts throughout the month

PLEASE NOTE – the conversion rate from USD to GBP is 1=0.6254, which means that the total in US Dollars will be approximately $38.49

If you wish to advertise your blog for the next four weeks, please email me at where we can discuss the terms and conditions of the advertising. I have numerous testimonials if needed.

Feel free to check out the sponsors that I have in my sidebar – I’m sure that they would love to see new people!


This is available to WordPress followers only and there is a single space for one blogger every Sunday. There are two price options available:

Option 1: £9.00

A single promotional post about your blog with links to all of your social media accounts on Sunday afternoon
A reblog of a post of your choice on Sunday evening, during my highest traffic.
Promotional tweets to my #SundayBlogShare Twitter party during the day.
Option 2: £12.00

A single promotional post about your blog with links to all of your social media accounts on Sunday afternoon.
A reblog of a post of your choice on Sunday evening, during my highest traffic.
Promotional tweets to my #SundayBlogShare Twitter party during the day.
Promotional tweets to all of the Twitter parties throughout the week that I participate in.
Introductions via social media to some of my favourite bloggers.


I cannot guarantee an increase in following, or traffic, but everyone that has been featured as Blog of The Day or advertised their blog so far has indeed received significantly higher views than their usual traffic and gained new followers. Testimonials are available upon request…

I cannot (and will not) offer opportunities to any blogs that promote content that is racist, sexist, homophobic or promote any form of cruelty to animals. This includes hunting for sport and the wearing of fur for fashion.

Interested? Email me at

Similarly, if you wish me to review products for your company or wish to advertise your new book, also feel free to email me at the same address.

Note: all payments are made through PayPal and are required in advance.


You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page

Posted in Bloggers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

* Ten Things of Thankful


My second ‘Blog of the Day’ is from Teachezwell… I’m sure you’ll love this!

Originally posted on Teachezwell Blog:

Thanks, as always, to Lizzi for her Ten Things of Thankful initiative.  She wrote a thoughtful post on her interactions with a number of homeless folks.  That’s a brave topic to broach since homelessness is pandemic and complicated.  It’s one of those painful conditions that leaves me feeling overwhelmed and backing away.  Lizzi is a brave soul.

zombie-147945_640My dearest blogging widower has survived another week of providing training on child forensic interviewing, but more importantly, I finally understand why he’s always the last passenger off the plane.  This past time, the pilot was the first, running like a mad man to the exit.  That made me a bit worried.  I’ve seen World War Z and know how quickly zombies can take over a plane.  I stood still as large clusters of zombie-like folks trailed down the narrow corridor toward unsuspecting innocents.  I know zombies are attracted to sound, so I figured I was safe since all the…

View original 326 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ten Things I Hate Most About Summer!


For my first ‘Blog Of the Day,’ I’d like you to meet Hugh… You’ll love his wit, the variety in his posts and his charm!

Originally posted on Hugh's Views & News:

With temperatures about to soar in the UK this week I was prompted to republish this post after reading Judy’s (of Edwina’s Episodes) current posts about what she hated and liked most about Summer.  Pop over to her blog and read them both and then you can compare what I dislike most about Summer with her list.

I’m doing this in reverse order just like they do when announcing Miss World or Mr Universe (if they still exist?)

Eric Morley

“And the winner is…”


“No, I said reverse order!”

Eric Morley

“My apologies, Mr Roberts, please go ahead.”


“Thank you, Eric.”  

At number 10, BBQ Food!

Give me a burger or spare rib and I’m in BBQ heaven. Serve me something like a banana wrapped in ham and I’m in BBQ hell! Like chicken served with strawberries, the two do not go together.  Why is it that all these strange combination…

View original 1,321 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If We Were Having Coffee #9

imageIf we were having coffee, I would begin with an apology. For the last seven consecutive days I have been in work, completing two major orchestra rehearsals and a concert, sports day, Immersion Day, staff training day and then all-day rehearsals on Saturday and Sunday for the musical production that we are putting on all of next week. My routine has been predominantly work/sleep/work/sleep, and the blog, my house and my general life is in a state of temporary disarray. Comments have yet to be approved and replied to, I’ve read virtually nothing, and my stats are at their lowest since November 2014. Just bear with me…

However, as I am likely to be absent over the next week, I will be devoting each day to a ‘Blog Of the Day,’ which will allow you to be introduced to five interesting and fun new blogs to follow…


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that after the rehearsal yesterday The Bloke and I were able to attend our first BBQ of the summer to celebrate our friend’s birthday at their new house. Despite the fact that the conflicting schedules meant that we turned up late, we were able to get there before the sun set and I drank Pimms (how very British) and ate the spiciest bean burger I’ve ever had, while catching up with friends that I haven’t seen in quite a while. Their new house is lovely, and they have obviously put a lot of time into making it a home, including the introduction of two bunnies to the back garden.

I’ve also been loving the rainbow colours all over my social media networks. Congratulations to those of you who now have the rights that you should have always had. Let’s hope the rest of the world follows…

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how sad I am to hear about the recent massacre in Tunisia, particularly at the fact that I taught at the school of one of the victims when he was a young teenager. I have a vague recollection of him, but understandably my former colleagues who watched him grow into a young man are particularly devastated. Joel Richards, his uncle and grandfather were all murdered in the shooting, and his younger brother has been hailed as a hero for trying to help some of the victims despite his own personal loss. My thoughts go out to all of the victims families and friends… I cannot imagine what they are going through. The world is going mad.

Always puts things into perspective doesn’t it…

I hope you are all doing well! You can find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page and my Pinterest page

Posted in Coffee | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

6 Questions with Brady Bunch/TMNT/Sharknado star Robbie Rist!


Meet Phil, my ‘Blog of the Day.’ You’ll love his interview with actor and musician Robbie Rist!

Originally posted on The Phil Factor:


For my readers who don’t know Robbie’s name off the top of your head, you no doubt have seen or heard him in something. Over the last forty years Robbie has been quietly woven into the fabric of American pop culture like few others. If you haven’t seen him in a movie or TV show, you’ve probably heard his voice as a cartoon character dating back to his work as Michelangelo for the 80’s cartoon and 1990 movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or the Final Fantasy X video game or more recently as Stuffy for the Disney channel’s Doc McStuffins.  He’s also appeared in too many shows and movies for me to list here.  Even better though, he has an awesome rock band, The Ballzy Tommorow! What gave me the idea to contact him for the interview was when it occurred to me recently that he has been part…

View original 1,076 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blog Of the Day: Meet The Phil Factor!

imageMeet Phil, author and creator of The Phil Factor.

When I started Suzie81 Speaks nearly two years ago, Phil was one of the first blogs that I followed. Why? Becase both Phil (and his blog) is utterly fantastic.

His ‘About’ page made me smile:

Hi there, thanks for reading my blog. I’m The Grand Poobah of Leisure and the author of the humorous, murder-mystery novels White Picket Prisons and The Sneaker Tree as well as the humor book Fifty Shades of Phil. I’m a father of three, husband to one, and life-long smart ass to many. I’ve been well trained by my two dogs and a cat and am a loyal servant to them all. I’m an excellent ping-pong player and I make the best grilled cheese sandwiches in the world, bar none. I have a Master’s degree in Psychology and spent many years working in the field of mental health before realizing that stringing words together might be a little bit more fun. My first fiction novel, White Picket Prisons, is an ode to the life-long friends that I grew up with and still keep in touch with to this day.

However, (sorry Phil), it doesn’t quite do him justice. Phil’s posts are hilarious, intelligently written and eclectic and during my blogging adventures I have stolen more ideas from ideas from his blog than I have anywhere else. I love the fact that his it doesn’t have a niche – you never know what he is going to discuss next – and he has created a welcoming place where it is possible to talk about anything and everything without judgement.

If you do nothing else today, follow this blog – I promise that it will be time well spent.

You can also find Phil on Twitter: @ThePhilFactor

Phil’s novels, including ‘The Sneaker Tree’ is also available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Want to be featured as ‘Blog Of The Day’ to over 12,000 readers here at Suzie81 Speaks? Email me at

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to visit my Facebook page


Posted in Bloggers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Expectations Of The Perfect Partner

imageOur students participated in an interesting set of workshops today. They were all off their usual timetable, instead discussing issues surrounding physical, emotional, social and sexual health. I spent most of the day supervising the sexual health workshops, which were predominantly focused on personal relationships and the expectations that each individual has of them.

The facilitator set the kids a really interesting activity. They were asked to draw out a shape in the form of a gingerbread man on a large piece of paper, with the title, ‘The Perfect Partner.’ Around the outside, they had to write the physical attributes that they would like, and on the inside, personality traits.

By the end of the third workshop, I had developed so many ideas in my head that I did the activity myself.

This was what I came up with:


I’m in a long-term, happy relationship with a wonderful bloke, but being Little Miss Cynical I found myself thinking that the activity was perhaps setting false expectations for the students – surely there is no such thing as the perfect partner because there is no such thing as the perfect person? I mentioned this when I had a conversation with the practitioner after the workshops had finished, and there was something that she said that stuck with me for the rest of the day…

“None of the things that they all listed were impossible or unachievable – nobody wanted a partner that could fly or magic money out of thin air. The idea behind it is not to give young people false expectations, but to have expectations in the first place. By acknowledging things that they want in a partner, it gives them a chance to focus on two things: that personality is far more important than the way somebody looks, and that they will only be treated in the way that they allow themselves to be.”

She was absolutely right. Their ideas were not anything unexpected. Initially, the boys thought more about boobs and large bottoms and the girls talked about the importance of height and blue eyes, but by the time everyone had finished they had all filled the middle of their diagram with lots of ideas that would make the perfect personality.

I asked some of the students after school what they had gained from the workshop. One of them simply smiled and said,

“I am going to go home and do the activity about me instead of my perfect partner. That way, I know what sort of person I want to become and then I can expect exactly the same of my future boyfriend.”

A lesson well learned, I think!

What about you? What would your perfect partner look like?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook and Pinterest pages


Posted in Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

I Don’t Get It

imageTrigger Warning: Animal cruelty, but no graphic images.

This morning, I followed my usual routine when I awoke and started going through my various social media sites. When I logged into Twitter, the first thing I was confronted with were horrific pictures from this year’s Chinese Dog Meat festival, and I couldn’t help but have a little cry to myself.

I’ve lived with animals all my life – dogs, hamsters, gerbils, fish and even a rat – and when I moved into my own house for the first time the first thing I did was adopt a cat from the RSPCA, and I gained another two a few years later. Sadly, my first cat passed away last year after thirteen years of being my little companion, but the other two are still happy and healthy, despite their futile attempts to completely destroy my bank balance. As I write, they’re curled up into a large ball of fluff on the couch next to me. They’ve been fed, they have clean water in their bowl and a clean litter tray. Their various toys are scattered in various places around the house, and they have completely wrecked their new scratching post in the kitchen. They have their own little personalities, and follow me around the house in the way a dog would. I play little games with them. When they are ill, I worry about them and make sure they have the right medication to make them better. Their presence completes our little family, and makes it a home.

They have nothing to fear – I have never raised a hand to them and would hurt anybody who attempted to do so, because they are living, breathing things and deserve to be treated as such. They are frightened of things they don’t understand (after ten years, they will still have a little panic attack and run away whenever I get the vacuum cleaner out) and they feel pain. So, when I saw these awful pictures of the unbelievable torture that the poor animals were being put through, I felt sick.

The older I get, the more acutely aware I am of just how cruel the human race can be. A number of years ago I watched the Heather Mills documentary on the dog and cat fur trade, and those images will stay with me for the rest of my life. With the debate on fox hunting rearing its ugly head again (thank you very much Mr Cameron), I’ve seen pictures of the aftermath of various fox hunts all over the papers. Tiger snares, shark – fin soup, rhino and elephant poaching, sloe loris’s having their teeth pulled out, dolphin slaughter and captive chimps being beaten are just some of the things that have appeared on my TV screen recently.

I don’t get how someone can look at something that is utterly defenceless and make the decision to hurt or kill it, and find it funny while doing so. I don’t get how someone can look at themselves in the mirror at night, or have a restful sleep after committing such an act.

I don’t get it. I just hope that they get their comeuppance one day.


Posted in Animals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments