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How to get people to comment on your blog posts.

I have had my domain name thelittleafricanbeautyroom.com for more than three years. I started my website because my clients asked for it, and they wanted a way to contact me easily as I am very well known for changing my contact numbers.

So, reluctantly, I got one. However, I didn’t do much with it. It was just there doing nothing. As most of you have learned from my recent posts, the coronavirus has caused me to close my beauty business. I specialised in waxing treatment. I made the difficult decision to close the business because I didn’t want my treatment room becoming a place of transmission for the virus. So, I closed the business and changed my phone number. I was disappointed, but one positive to come out of this is that I decided to develop my website by blogging.

Believe me, blogging is a lot harder than the various online tutorials say. You have to set up everything, write the blog  (and if you have writer’s block  it may be a few weeks before you publish anything.) And then when you have worked so hard on creating and writing that article or content that you think is such a masterpiece and you publish it, you have to get people to read it and leave comments to help you improve on your next post.

I found getting people to visit my website was hard. Then getting people to like my work was harder still, and then getting anyone to leave a comment was still harder.  But giving up isn’t an option for anyone who is interested in sharing valuable insights with the rest of the world.

So how do you get anyone to leave you a comment? Be honest with yourself and your readers. Ask them to give you an honest opinion so you can learn and make your writing better next time.

So I am asking you to leave your comments on my blogs. If you think a blog is a load of rubbish just say it. But if you like and appreciate it, say that as well. And please give your reasons for either viewpoint so I can learn.

 

Blogging For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))`

 

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Love

Love has no expiry date

Love opens dreams and imagination

Love sparkles through each heart

Love brings the magic that one longs for

Love knows no boundaries

Love can shine and make you feel invisible

Love is a potion that you find

A very rare potion, but when you find it,

It is difficult to separate it from reality

It’s the greatest degree one can acquire

Love is all one can remember you by.

* What do you think about this poem ‘Love’? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to reading your comments. *

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The Art Of Depression

This poem was inspired by a gentleman who I supported for many years. He felt alienated from his family and his depression caused him to fear the outside world.

I can hear several voices at once; where am I?

A gentle voice calls out; ‘Help, help, save me.’

None trust me, I am alone

Trapped in my own thoughts

Fearful and terrified, day and night

Can’t sleep, paranoid, someone is calling me

No, No, someone is following me

They look like me, maybe; I am not sure

What should I do?

‘Doctor, Doctor, help me, help me.’

They can’t hear me

I suddenly drift asleep, remembering nothing;

Of the past event except for a headache

A very faint memory has left a bitter taste in my mouth

As I examine myself I see my ugly self

I am ashamed that every time I wake from;

Such a nightmare my family fearful of me

But I hear them whispering about what has happened

I look normal outside, but inside if you were to examine me

You will surely find a helpless me

Tell me, do you feel helpless at times?

Maybe, you could be my friend.

 

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How to make a face mask for your kids and yourself

I need to let you know that I am not a medical person and so far as I am aware a fabric face mask ain’t going to protect you from getting covid-19, but it could stop you from spreading the virus to someone else when you are out and about.

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African Fabric

The fabric face mask has become the new fashion trend on the street and variations of it are springing up around the world.

I ordered four face masks a month ago, and I am still waiting for them to arrive, so I decided to make some for myself and my kids.

You may be wondering why I didn’t make them straight away instead of ordering them? The simple answer is that I am not an experienced sewer, and I needed to work out how to do it.

In recent days while queuing outside our local supermarket, I have had the chance to observe people wearing face masks. Only after weeks of observation did I attempt to make my own. I have to be honest with you. I made several mistakes before making two that I felt comfortable with. My son is wearing my first successful one in the photo above.

This is what to do:

Use a large round plate for adults and small round plates for children. Place your chosen fabric upside down on a flat worktop and then place the plate on the fabric. Draw a circle around the plate and cut two pieces as I am doing below. Then fold the fabric in the middle and fold again, so you end up with the pointed end at the top.

Cut the pieces, so you have four equal sides and sew the two bottom sides together and do the same with the other two. You don’t need a tape measure, just a plate, scissors and a sewing machine. If you don’t have a sewing machine, needle and thread will do.

* What do you think about this article ‘How to make a face mask for your kids and yourself’? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to reading your comments. *

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How to save wardrobe space by using Can Ring-Pull

I like my wardrobe to feel nice and look nice. Nicely pressed trousers, beautiful tops for an evening out, special dresses for special occasions all organised and ready to be selected for the appropriate occasion.

598C42B4-AD95-4611-8AD3-5436A0B75689But what happens when your nice clothes don’t fit in your small wardrobe space?  Well, I faced this dilemma a while back. My  wardrobe is small, and I have to confess to some laziness when it comes to organising it. But when I have times I go into super-drive mode and I want everything to be just right. Everything in its place and a place for everything. 

B32F907F-504C-4E14-B3CA-50DD4CEDF0ACSuper-drive mode usually comes out of the blue and can start at 4 in the morning and last until late at night. Well, it was during one of those super-mode days that I found myself struggling to hang everything in my wardrobe. I was drinking my favourite drink ( a can of  Fanta) trying to work out where to hang my outfits. Ah, I was holding the answer in my hand. I took the ‘ring-pull’ from the Fanta can and slipped it over the hook and neck of a coat hangar. Then I took another coat hangar and put the hook into the spare hole of the ring-pull. Two hangars taking the space of one. Being a Fanta drinker I  was able to quickly gather enough ring-pulls to double-up every coat hangar. Problem solved.

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* What do you think about this article ‘How to save wardrobe space by using Can Ring-Pull’? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to reading your comments. *

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Sonia – I will see you again

I was 21 years old when I moved to Leeds. I had no friends, I was penniless, and I didn’t know anybody in Leeds. I questioned the wisdom of my move and cried for many nights. I struck lucky when a recruitment agency got a full- time admin job for me at Leeds Magistrate Court.

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Sonia and the mouse

The job was temporary, but it gave me hope that things would improve for me in my new location.

I used to walk to work every morning and back home every evening. As I walked home one evening, I saw someone walking their dog, and I thought ‘why don’t I get a dog to keep me company?’ So one Saturday I went to the nearest RSPCA to adopt a dog. When I got there I asked, ‘where do I leave the dog when I am at work so they don’t get too lonely?’ They gave me some useful advice, but just as I was being taken to choose a dog I spotted where they kept the cats. I was curious, so I asked if I could see the cats first. There was one there missing a back paw, another without an eye, and two healthy ones. I told the person who was showing me around that I wasn’t a cat person, I was just curious. I had never been allowed to have cats at home, and I was rather fearful of them. When they came close for me to stroke them, I was petrified. But one of the cats wasn’t interested, she was walking in the opposite direction from the others. I asked if cats needed a lot of maintenance, and was told ‘no’. So without a second thought I picked up the cat who showed no interest in me and she became mine. I named her Sonia. When I was young my best friend was called Sonia; my friend wasn’t a follower, she was a leader and that is how I saw my cat. Independent and strong, and I liked that.

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Sonia just passed away

When I took Sonia home for the first time, I put milk in a bowl and tuna to encourage her to come out of the carry- cage. When she finally came out she looked at me and that was the first time we looked at each other. Then she did the most amazing thing, she laid on her back so I could stroke her tummy. I was still fearful at this point, but I did it anyway. She got up, came to me and I carried her little body and placed her near her bowls so she could eat and drink. Sonia was just three- years- old. From that day on we were inseparable. She slept in bed with me, and I spoiled her as if she was my child. When my ex-husband proposed to me, I asked him to propose to my Sonia as well. I said if she meows then I will marry you. If she doesn’t then there’s no marriage. Luckily

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My kids saying goodbye to Sonia

she did, and we did get married, and I have three wonderful children from the marriage. Sonia knew all my children.
This February (2020) I knew in my heart and soul that she was leaving us. I was advised that the kindest thing would be to take her to the vets. I made appointments but kept cancelling them. Many years earlier I had a very vivid dream that Sonia and I were watching television. She meowed, sat on my lap and breathed her last.

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So every time I booked a vet’s appointment I felt guilty, and that I was breaking the dream. I am glad I cancelled those vet’s appointments because on February 17th  2020 at 7:29pm Sonia and I were watching a movie called ‘ Blood and Bones’ on Amazon together. She was lying next to me when she died peacefully and naturally. She is buried in my garden. I want to say ‘ thank you, Sonia, for the great memories we shared.’
And that is why I have written this post.

 

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* What do you think about this article ‘Sonia – will see you again’?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to reading your comments. *

 

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Tips for ponytails

I love ponytails, especially in the summer months when I really don’t want to be wearing wigs all day long. ( I wear wigs in the winter and ponytails during the summer. For me it makes perfect sense.) Ponytails are practical and make a fashion statement that you are stunning even when you are wearing baggy clothes. My Afro hair is short so I have different lengths of ponytail extensions. You can get them through the links below.

I think every woman knows how to do a basic ponytail, but if you need something extra here are some tips:

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1. Comb your hair (if it is Afro hair you will need to moisturise it. ) Put a hair band around your wrist. Pull your hair with one hand and with the other tie the hair together.

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2. If you want to use hair gel use it now to prevent runaway hairs.

3. Take your ponytail hair extension and clip it or wrap it around your own ponytail and you are ready to go.

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* What do you think about this article ‘Tips for Ponytails’? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to reading your comments. *

 

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Au revoir

She gazed through the bedroom window. Angry clouds hurled every atom of their contents as if they had not a moment to lose in getting on with making the day as difficult as possible for another poor soul. She had to collect the children from school. As she summoned her resolve to move, the phone rang.  Flying downstairs like a cat frightened by thunder she grabbed the phone terrified that she would be a second too late. She wasn’t. There was that bass voice, coming across the English Channel (or ‘La Manche’ as he had always insisted upon calling it). Trembling, she got her words out, ‘Jean-Pierre, how are you?’  Oui, je vais bien. I am okay. Is this how you say it?’

She and Jean-Pierre had met on a week-end break in Paris. Love came quickly, and seeped away, step-by-tiny step when she was back home. Back home where she belonged with her children: Sam and Lisa.

Stepping off the flight from Paris that Sunday evening she believed it could work. But six months on she knew all was not well. It had become very costly.  He never contributed financially. Broke, always broke. With two kids and no job, romance with a French artist was not exactly practical. Romantic, yes; practical, no. He was barely working. She was supporting him financially and resented it.

He did not understand why she had become distant.

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‘You don’t want me now you are back to the UK?’ he said accusingly. He did rejection well. ‘Speak in French, don’t understand English well. Your French is good, okay?’  But her mind could hardly function in English never mind French. Last night she had taken her children shopping. On their return, dense choking fumes had emerged from under the bonnet getting into the car. It was dark, and it was terrifying. In the middle seemingly of nowhere and with no signal on her mobile.  Her feeble but frantic attempts to attract the attention of the few passing motorists were studiously ignored. She could hardly blame them: a smoking car on an unlit country road, a wildly waving woman.

 

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As she stood listening to Jean-Pierre, thoughts of the night before came flooding back. She recalled looking at her children on the back seat, little ones having every confidence that mummy would deal with the situation. She remembered image after terrifying image skidding across her mind like a series of nightmares. She closed her eyes as tightly as the skin on a drum praying as she had never prayed, ‘God, send your angels.’

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She turned the key in the ignition. The engine reached within itself and found some life. The smoky fumes were still there, but life was also there. The smoking, groaning car made it back, just. Reaching the front of the house, knowing its job was done, sensing it had delivered its precious cargo, it stopped. The angels had carried out their assignment.
Her evening slumbers had restored her perspective. She had spent the morning taking stock, and the car to the garage. The low-throated French voice asked
 ‘Are you still there, ma cherie? ‘
 What sort of time was this to be thinking of love and romance?
‘Yes, I’m here.’ she replied, ‘ just thinking about the car, whether it can be fixed and how much they are going to charge me.’ ‘I’m sorry I wasn’t able to be there to help you,’ he said, without conviction.
‘You know it’s over between us, right?’ she said sadly.

‘Why is it over?’ came the reply with a seeming sob.

‘ Our relationship is over, but you don’t want to believe it. You look for signs of life, but unlike my car’s engine, there is nothing to re-ignite. No life within to revive. Nothing to bring us safely home, nothing amidst the smoke and the fumes.’

She glanced at the clock. It showed at 3 pm. She was glad of the excuse to tell him that she had to go and collect the kids from school. She peered through the small window in the front door. It looked bleak but there were now breaks in the angry clouds.

 ‘Au revoir.’ she murmured

‘Yes, he said.

 ‘A bientot.’

* What do you think about this short story ‘Au revoir’? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to reading your comments. *

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Set Us Free

It came in disguise

Lurking underneath the sandcastle where an innocent girl was rebuilding certain demolished parts of the castle

It was something dangerous and caning

The girl had seen her entire life hurt and betrayed

Every betrayal came in disguise

She was an abandoned child

Her father died before she was born

No image of him was given to her

Her mother gripped by fear gave her daughter away

Her days were full of trials and tribulations

But she had many dreams and her beliefs brought into being a life full success

Yet the ghost of childhood continues to emerge in her life

What potion can she take

What magic word can she say out loud to free her from this beast

She knows now that it wasn’t her fault but breaking the pattern is hard

He now comes in a spirit of love and gentleness

He comes with a good heart, but his words are deceitfully delicious to her soul

She lets herself believe that he cares

And no harm will come to her

She has one thing right

No bruises to hide

But she feels powerless and strapped every time

She wants him, close, he has that magical way with her

Every time she escapes, he comes to meet her at the same place, the same time, when she’s rebuilding her castle

His face

His personality

Different every time

He doesn’t just grab her by the hand

He is more sophisticated

He asks for permission

She hopes that this time with his new face and personality he would love her, protect her from the darkness

She thinks that maybe he would weep her tears when the nightmares comes back to hunt her

But instead he has plans of his own

She is just the little girl he needs to boost his ego

She knows how to take care of someone like him

She was well taught after all

He wants things to be discreet

This sends her into obedience mode

He says gently but repeats it often

She thinks she can get out

But finds herself inside a bird’s cage

Where she can’t touch the sand

She watches how her beautiful castle crumbles slowly

She is now loyal to him

He has no sense of direction

No purpose, he is in a mess

He is afraid to leave the other woman who cannot fulfil his needs

He is afraid of being alone, so he refuses to leave the other woman

Everyone knows her

What would friends’ and family say

What disgrace

How would the kids cope if he was brave enough to leave?

For the sake of the kids, he tells himself

The girl in the cage will help, he thinks

She does for a while

Then the other woman seduces him

And he leaves the girl in her cage

With lies, hurtful words

He is weak

If only he could leave the other woman

Be free to start something better for himself

Love himself

Reconnect with himself

Free to be a good role model for his sons and daughters

Setting the other woman free, she too could make a better life for herself

And he wouldn’t have needed to go out and find innocent girls to play with

Because they would be free to finish rebuilding the sandcastle and have a better future

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* What do you think about this poem ‘Set Us Free’? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to reading your comments. *

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Coronavirus


Oh Coronavirus

If you were a person
I would ask you,
Why have you come?
I would offer you a cup of tea or coffee
I would listen to your persisting rusty chatter
Oh Coronavirus
If you were a person
I would check your temperature
But I would be left confused as to whether you had the infection or not
Oh Coronavirus
Why have you come?
Spitting your misery and pain
Is it fun for you to watch us die?
What pleasure do you get from spreading your venom, oh coronavirus?

And because of you
face masks and gloves are a must
Schools are closed
Everything is gone
And because of you
lovers are torn apart
Families are getting less by the minute

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Oh Coronavirus
If you were a person
I would drive you out myself
I would say to you
I’m sorry for not paying attention to you earlier
I would say please forgive me for my ignorance
I would say thank you for leaving
I would love you for letting us live again.
And because you stay away life can start again

 

* What do you think about this poem ‘Coronavirus’? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to reading your comments. *