Maddy at Home

Hello hello,

If you have landed here by mistake, please click this link to go to my usual blog Maddy at Home.

If you would like to follow my blog at Maddy at Home, please copy this link http://www.maddyathome.com and paste it into a list in your WordPress.com reader . Or you could sign up at Maddy at Home to get my latest posts in your email.

I am using this one (Sshh Maddy is Writing) for an Open University¬†Start Writing Fiction course¬†and other scribblings that I don’t want to publish on my main blog – please scroll down if you¬†want to browse my various writing course posts. If you want to view the password protected posts¬†the password in Maddy.


One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog award

lovely-blog-awardThank you to Amanpan from Brew ‘n Spew for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog award.¬†I am honored! It is a great opportunity for me to share with you the many friends I have made online over the past year and to highlight the number of interesting, intelligent and inspiring Seniors who have their own blogs, Amanpan being one of this distinguished group.

It is wonderful to be able to help dispel the myth that “old people don’t do technology”, and to combat ageism in general. Here are the award rules:

To accept this award:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Add 7 facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and…
5. Leave a comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

7 Facts about me :

  • I bought my first home at the age of 58. It’s never too late!
  • My favorite color is turquoise
  • My favorite song is Tina Turner “River Deep, Mountain High”
  • I gave up smoking over two years ago, having been an¬†incorrigible
    chain smoker all my life
  • I love the beach and the ocean
  • I am a Trivia Queen . . .
  • I love my plants.

I am selecting fifteen senior bloggers as my nominees:

The nominees are under no obligation to accept this award

1. Ronni –¬†Time Goes By

Ronni is a long-time blogger, former NY resident and an expert on aging.

2. Bernadette – Haddon Musings

Join our great group of Senior Friends at Bernadette’s Senior Salon, every Wednesday.

3. Bruce Cooper The Daily Blog

What is assisted living really like?

4. Paul – Memory Issues

Paul gives us his positive take on caring for a wife suffering from dementia.

5. Penny – The Frugal Fashion Shopper

Penny lives in the UK and is very skilled at picking out the most stylish bargains from the Charity shops.

6. Caree Risover – A Retirement Blog

Caree is my first online blogger friend, level pegging with me in the retirement and blogging stakes at about 1 year in.  Caree lives in the North UK

7. Pradip Chowdhury – An Indian Photo Blog

Pradip is a retired widower who lives in Kolkata and has taken some awesome photos Рdo take a look.  He is also a photoshop expert and was my first guest poster on my Seniors Blog Maddy at Home

8. Royce Shook – Boomersnotsenior

Royce has won Canadian awards for his blogs and knows a thing or two about retirement and finances.

9. Latane Barton – Living life on Main Street

Latane was born in the 1930s. She was married for sixty years and has a large family. Her husband was in the Navy. She is very active and has even written a book!

10. Sue & Vic – Retirement with No Problem

One of my favorite blogs – don’t miss it if you like messing about in boats, in this instance a barge. Sue and Vic are very good at keeping this blog right up to date so you can follow them day by day.

11. Catherine – Atypical 60

Catherine will always make you laugh, except when she makes you cry!

12. Bill & Debbie Lees – The TumbeLees

Join these full-time RVers on their travels

13. Leslie Alpen – Leslie’s Lounge Room

A fellow Australian, Leslie lives in Griffith NSW and is a retired school librarian. Blogging about the mosaics she makes and more….

14. Colleen Chesebro¬†–¬†Silver Threading

An author supporting other authors – submit your book for her review! Lately, she has posted some great healthy recipes for your Nutribullet.

15.  Peter РThe Summerhouse Years

Peter has been blogging much longer than most of us and his posts are always an entertaining read. His wife is a really good landscape artist with a distinctive style.

Off they go to Room 101

Off they go to Room 101

room-101-blog-awardThank you so much to my fellow Blogger Cathe at Atypical60 for having the insight to know just how much I would love the opportunity to banish a few people from all of our lives! She has nominated me for the Room 101 Bloggers award and given me the responsibility to pick five more bloggers who are also gonna love it!

Here are my nominations for the award:



Brew ‘n Spew

The Momfred

Annette’s Place

Here are my five banishees .  . .

  • The first person I would banish is that idiot who hangs around at the side of the pedestrian crossing, fiddling with his mobile phone and daring you to guess whether he is going to step out and cross the road, until you stop, of course, when he saunters off down the sidewalk. Call me sexist but this is usually a male.
  • Then there’s that person overtaking you and you just know (is it instinct or the sound of their engine?) that they’re going to cut in, in front of you, without indicating, causing you to brake suddenly. Predictably they wander across into the fast lane. Hang back to avoid the prang they are bound to cause and watch them go! Banished!
  • And I’m still on the road. How about that person who just stops? No indicator, no evidence that they are waiting for a parking space, no particular reason until, oh yes, the friend inside is collecting their bags together before being dropped off. Well, don’t mind me and the rest of the road users who actually would like to proceed, without you impeding them. Banished!
  • The plastic bottle is another thing I would banish. The plastic bottle is polluting the oceans and yes I know they are recyclable so why the hell doesn’t anybody recycle them? How do they get in the river? I could understand the need for bottled water in places where the water supply is not good. Heaven knows there are plenty of locations on this planet that have no clean water. But these bottles are taking up whole aisles¬†in our city supermarkets, where nobody is deprived of clean water. Banished!
  • Government websites. OK I love the idea of one secure password for everything, it’s brilliant! Tax, pensions, medical info ¬†.¬†. . . So I expect to be able to sign in there ONCE and access my linked accounts. But “Oh No, whatever made you think that one password meant one password? When we say there will be one password, you still need a password for your linked accounts.” Excuse me, that’s two passwords and possibly even several passwords, not just one, so stop telling me it’s just one flipping password! The person who does this stuff is incognito and probably being paid a fortune to sit in some obscure basement and dream up ways of frustrating the general public. Banished! – If we can find him that is . . .

I love my Room 101 badge and will wear it with pride!



  1. Thank the blogger that nominated you.
  2. Award 5 bloggers who fascinate, intrigue or tickle your curiosity with the Room 101 (award) badge logo on their About pages and linking to them in your post.
  3. Tell us the 5 things you would banish to Room 101!
  4. Attach these rules to your post.
  5. Grab your badge above and enjoy adding it to your trophy case, but please be respectful of the creator of the award by never altering the logo and never changing the rules.

What Games Do You Play?

What Games Do You Play?

Keep in touch with your elderly loved ones! Play a game . . .

Cathy Lynn Brooks

I play Lexulous with my mom who lives 150 miles from me. It’s a connection we have online. Lexulous is like scrabble so she takes a turn and then I take one. We usually play once or twice a day whenever either of us gets a few minutes. We don’t have to be online at the same time so it’s great. There is a chat space too so we can leave messages for each other. We’ve been playing for years, either on our computers or iPads. I’ve heard that word games keep the mind sharp so it’s great for my 81 year old mother and me.

I also like Mahjong which I also play on my iPad. The real game is played with tiles so the board looks like tiles piled on top of each other with Chinese symbols on them. It’s a matching game and only the tiles on…

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The third of three quotes

Many thanks to Sabah Batul, for nominating me for the Three Day Three Quotes challenge which requires me to post a quote on three consecutive days and nominate three other blogs to participate in the challenge. I see a lot of quotes these days on Social Media so it is hard to find something that is memorable.

For a sensible approach to life, for practical advice, and for sheer common sense and keen insight, I think that G K Chesterton stands out from the rest and for that reason I have chosen three quotes today.



It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it.


Here are my three nominations:

Follow the tumble Lees

Silver Threading

Retirement Transition


Photo attribution

“Caricature of Chesterton, by Beerbohm” by Max Beerbohm – English humorists of to-day: https://archive.org/stream/englishhumorists00hammuoft#page/n293/mode/2up. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caricature_of_Chesterton,_by_Beerbohm.jpg#/media/File:Caricature_of_Chesterton,_by_Beerbohm.jpg





The second of three quotes

Many thanks to Sabah Batul, for nominating me for the Three Day Three Quotes challenge which requires me to post a quote on three consecutive days and challenge 3 more people to do the same. I see a lot of quotes these days on Social Media so it is hard to find something that stands out and that is easily memorable. I think this quote fits the bill.





“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”

Malala Yousafzai

Most of you will know Malala’s story. At the age of¬†14, in 2012, she was shot by the Taliban. She and her family were able to get to England where she recovered from her injuries. In 2014,¬†she won the Nobel Peace Prize. I recommend the documentary movie “I am Malala.” In the movie, her past in Pakistan¬†is portrayed via lovely artistic animations.

As I was looking for a quote from her, I was interested to find extracts from her BBC blog which she started at the age of 11. It took me right there to her experience in Pakistan.

That she continues with the work that she is now doing, even while continuing her own studies, is testament to what can be achieved with a positive attitude.

My nominations for this challenge are:

My Meals are on wheels

Brew n Spew


My apologies if you get these notifications twice. I have messed up copying a post so this is part of the fix!

Photo Attribution: 

By DFID – UK Department for International Development (Malala Yousafzai: Education for girls) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


The first of three quotes

Many thanks to Sabah Batul, for nominating me for the Three Day Three Quotes challenge which requires me to post a quote on three consecutive days. I see a lot of quotes these days on Social Media so it is hard to find something that stands out and that is easily memorable.

Mandy Rice-Davies (1964)

I read recently about the death of Mandy Rice-Davies in December 2014. Together with her friend Christine Keeler, she was involved in the Profumo affair of 1963.

“He would, wouldn’t he?”


was her widely reported response when asked in Marylebone court, “Do you know Lord¬†Astor has made a statement to the¬†police saying that these allegations of yours are absolutely untrue?” ¬†The quote was sometimes shortened with the acronym MRDA. (Mandy Rice-Davies applies.)

My nominations are belated because I forgot to put them in before I posted this! Apologies:

Seen along the trail

Prairie Chat

Sweet Aroma

Photo attribution:

¬†“Mandy Rice-Davies (1964)” by Joop van Bilsen / Anefo – Nationaal Archief. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mandy_Rice-Davies_(1964).jpg#/media/File:Mandy_Rice-Davies_(1964).jpg

Passive or active, slippery or secure?

Are you passive or active?

Passive – Accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance.

The Passive voice is all about having the subject having something done to it by the object.

Active – engaged in action, or doing. Energetic.

The Active voice is about the subject doing things to the object.

People who are passive by nature can become victims. Those who are active are more likely to become successful.

‚ÄúHe was completely overshadowed by her. He was overshadowed because he was passive.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúShe completely overshadowed him. She overshadowed him because she was active or more energetic, perhaps louder, than him.‚ÄĚ

In the first sentence above, the subject is acted upon. The emphasis is on ‚ÄúHe‚ÄĚ and the fact that he was overshadowed.

In the second sentence, the subject ‚Äúshe‚ÄĚ is more prominent. She completely overshadowed him because she was active.

When you want to shift focus from the subject to the object, use the passive voice. Let’s have a look at some more examples of active vs passive voice.

“The book was written by Ivor Penn.” – passive

“Ivor Penn wrote the book.” – ¬†active

“The turkey is being cooked by Jane.” – passive

“Jane is cooking the turkey.” – active

When should you use the passive voice, and when the active?  It is a question of meaning and emphasis, and largely depends on the context.

If you are in doubt, it is better to use the active voice because it is more commonly used, it is clearer, and it is easier to follow.

Passive voice is often used to omit the active and responsible subject.

e.g. ‚ÄúShots were fired‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúHeads will roll‚ÄĚ.

The CEO made the employees redundant. – Active

The employees were made redundant. РPassive

The Slippery Slope of Spell Check

file2341253459198Many English words have more than one meaning. Compounding that difficulty, they may have more than one spelling as well. Because of that, spell check will not always work well for you. It‚Äôs a tricky business, especially because those words that have more than one meaning are often very basic ones. So there you have some very slippery slimy errors that can slither through your spell check and let everyone know that your English is not the best. The only way to avoid these errors is to¬†learn the correct spelling and usage of basic words well. Then you can feel safe from errors that might slip through. Continue reading “Passive or active, slippery or secure?”

The Real Neat Blogger Award

My sincere thanks go to Foster Cat Chats blog for nominating this blog for a Real Neat Blogger Award.

real neat blog award

Here are my answers to the questions and below, my seven nominations with seven new questions.

Do you now or have you ever had a cat?

I have had a cat but I don’t have one now.

Why or why not. I will not be offended by anything you say.

Because I live in an apartment block where pets are not permitted.

Aside from family and friends what is the most important thing in your life?

Equality for the poorer people of the world.

When did you start blogging and why?

I started blogging at the beginning of the year because I hoped to earn some money online. Still working on that!

Do you think animals should be dressed in costumes at Halloween?

I don’t think animals should EVER be dressed in costumes except perhaps a little coat for a dog when it’s raining.

I chase a laser light for fun.What do you do?

Buy stuff I don’t need in thrift stores.

What is your favourite food?

Bacon and cake, equally but separately

Where would you like to travel most in the world that you have not already visited?


And my nominations are:

Spilt Milk

Living Life on Main Street


Catching my Drift

Retirement Transition

Maria Holm

Clearissa Coward’s Command Centre

I’m sure you will enjoy my nominated blogs especially if you haven’t visited them before!

Here are my questions for the nominees:

1) What makes you smile?

2) What is your best talent?

3) Who is a hero in your life?

4) Dogs or cats?

5) Winter or Summer?

6) Movies or theatre?

7) Beach or pool?

You don’t have to nominate seven people if you don’t have the time, two or three will be fine!

Reflecting on the reflexive, and who’s who.

Me myself and I

Imagine yourself, if you will, back in Edwardian times, when it was the fashion for ladies and gentlemen alike to own¬†a dressing table set that included a brush, a comb and areflection hand held mirror. ¬†Many of those sets had additional matching¬†items such as containers for hair pins etc. ¬†When our Edwardian¬†lady¬†looked into her¬†mirror, she¬†saw herself.¬†She¬†did not see anyone else, because her¬†husband had a mirror¬†of his own, and it was not the done thing to have anyone else in one’s boudoir unless you were royalty and had a chamber maid. In their case,¬†“One sees oneself” would have been¬†acceptable. Most royals have their grammar sorted, but¬†for those of us not so well placed, we can just imagine¬†that we own one of those lovely antique mirrors. Personally I imagine a very nice ornately decorated silver one. What do I see when I look into that mirror? ¬†I see my reflection.¬†This is when I need to use a reflexive pronoun and say “I see myself“.

Now if my hubby were to happen by and I caught a glimpse of him in my mirror, I might exclaim, “I can see you!” or I might say to myself, “I can see him!” What I¬†would never say is “I see himself.” Only he can see himself‚Äďas we said before he has his own mirror.

Consider Narcissus as he saw his reflection in a pool and found that he was so very beautiful that he focused entirely on himself.  It is the same with reflexive pronouns:

I see myself. I can only see myself. Continue reading “Reflecting on the reflexive, and who’s who.”

A Bloggers Oath

A Bloggers Oath

Harleena Singh has adapted the Hypocratic Oath to apply it to Bloggers. Read about it in her Guest Post on Kristi’s very useful blog Kikolani

Generally speaking, as a beginning Blogger, I have found that most people adhere to these guidelines, but it is a good idea to let your readers know that you do.

I will respect the wisdom of others I learn from and gladly share such knowledge with those who are to follow.

I will help the newbie and other bloggers in whichever way possible. It would be genuinely for their benefit, avoiding any discrimination and dishonesty.

I will remember that blogging is more than writing online updated journals. It is a means of spreading values, enabling empowerment, providing knowledge, and expression of freedom.

I will never misuse my influence and power of blogging to cause harm to others in anyway. I understand that with great power comes greater responsibility, and I’ll prove myself worthy.

I will not abuse blogging as a means to cheat and mislead people for my selfish motives of earning money. I’ll always disclose and reveal if I stand to benefit in my blog posts.

I will be honest and humble to admit my mistakes and correct them. I’ll never intentionally create content with false information and will always include disclaimers, wherever necessary.

I will observe transparency in my blogging ways and be truthful in all my blogging efforts. I’ll give due credit where required and discourage others from cheating or indulging in malpractice.

I will remember that I remain a member of the society and have special obligations to my fellow bloggers. Whatever I do, I’ll always uphold the values of humanity and Choose from the most used tagsesteem of bloggers, and never fall for evil temptations.

Please feel free to copy the  points into your own blog so long as you credit Harleena.