A Thoughtful Process @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11 #Cancer #RRBC

A lady I was acquainted with many years ago was a consultant dermatologist at the hospital where I  worked.

Her skin was like porcelain, almost translucent. Her mantra was always to never let your skin be exposed to the sun.

She was white and very attractive, turning the men’s heads where ever she went.

She lived alone, and on rare occasions spent some time in London with a mutual friend.

Sadly, I learned that at the young age of fifty, she died of stage 4 bowel cancer.

How and why I kept asking, should one so young, so careful with her knowledge attained through her working life about the dangers of too much exposure to the sun, be unfortunate enough to have her life end this way?

Was it because she paid more attention to her skin than to her dietary intake?  Did loneliness play a part?  Was she simply unlucky?  Or, was it just an act of God?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Introducing… #JoyfulPussycatTales & #SpyAndVillain @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11

Introducing my latest two short stories!

The first is SPY AND VILLAIN, a short story mystery drama.

Spy & Villain by Joy M. Lilley

This is a story of love and sadness. Told by a wheelchair bound middle aged woman. She finds herself handicapped after a tragic accident when a car mounts the pavement out of control.

Spending many hours looking out of her front room window, she believes that skullduggery is going on in the house across the street. The couple who lives there, have recently moved in. One day while people-watching from her window, she is certain she sees the man hitting the woman.  When she runs into the woman soon after the event, her face is covered with bruises, and she is furtively trying to avoid her.

 Our heroine is so convinced of violent behavior going on in that house, that she badgers her own husband until he takes notice.  Her nagging leads to arguments between them, as he tells her “Not to be such a nosey cow.”

The plot gets even more complicated, eventually culminating in the truth coming to light.

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The second book, JOYFUL PUSSYCAT TALES, tells of the writer’s rescued cats from the past and present.

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(Cover design by 4WillsPub)

Sophie Swipe made us smile over her antics with the Grandchildren.

Billy Pink-Nose was a beauty with black silky fur, and a brilliant pink nose, a boy who often got into mischief.

But the three that are still living with the writer and her husband, are 13-year-old, Lucy, 10-year-old, Molly, and 7-year-old Lilley.

Their stories are delightful, full of fun and frolic, cuddles and entertainment.

I hope you get a chance to read these quick tales, and a review would be welcome!

Our Platinum Jubilee Celebration! @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11

Here we are in the glorious month of sunny June, and we are celebrating Queen Elizabeth II, and her 70th year on the throne!  Who could have imagined that in the year of 2022, she would still be reigning over us, frail though she is?  But the years do take their toll on all of us.

The Brits love to celebrate, and we have many loyal royalists, so street parties were the order of the day from June 3rd through June 6th.

There are very few houses where we live – six, including ours. My husband decided that this year, we should hold a street party in celebration at our home – so we did!

I sent out invitations back in February. Everyone was excited and agreed to come. The entire block would be there with the exception of our nearest neighbours, who would be on their honeymoon in South Africa.

My stepdaughter who lives two doors away from us, was the stale wart girl she has always been.  She helped me tremendously with the preparations.

We spent an age buying, sorting, and giving instructions to the guests of what they were required to bring to the party.

The celebration was held in our garden, because as you can see from the pictures of the road with the tall trees lining the golf course, the street would have been unsuitable to use.

The big day arrived with black clouds threatening to bring a torrential storm.  Fortunately, it stayed away until the latter part of the day when the drizzle began to fall.

Most of the guests braved the cold temperatures outside.  It was 14 degrees C.  I managed to get a few of the menfolk into the lounge where great political conversation flew back and forth, with just a tiny bit of discord.  However, three brave souls remained outside in the drizzling rain for the duration of the party, culminating in a little too much imbibing.

All in all, a jolly time was had by everyone in attendance. Many of them suggesting more parties in the future.

Hopefully, next time it will be held in someone else’s home.

Enjoy the photos!

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Revelations @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11 #Italy #LeaningTowerofPisa

A recent trip away with my other half prompted the writing of this piece.

We were on a long-awaited cruise; cancelled twice because of COVID19.

The trip was to take us over 786 nautical miles from Southampton docks to Rome and back. We visited seven countries, including Vatican City, areas of Spain, France and Italy.

I shall focus on the two stops we made in Italy – the first being the Field of Miracles, where we found the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the second, the Vatican City, sitting in the capitol of Rome.  We chose these two places because they interested us the most.

We did not leave the ship to visit all ports on the itinerary, but Pisa and Rome were two of the three that we did.

For different reasons I want to tell you about these wonderful places.

THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA

Pisa is in the Provence of Tuscany, Northern Italy.  We headed to the Field of Miracles where the Leaning Tower of Pisa sits (and lean it does, as you can see below):

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There were crowds of visitors that day, but the sun was shining, and the sky was blue; we were also happy to get the exercise.

Held within the same area stands two grand structures made in part of the famous Italian marble. They all exude grandeur. The cathedral in the picture stands to the left of the tower on entering the complex.  You enter from the far end of this scene…

Pisa’s main tourist attractions are the leaning Tower Cathedral, Baptistery, and Campo Santo. All are close together and comprise a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Pisa Cathedral is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral.  It is the oldest of the three structures in the Plaza. Its construction began in 1063 and was completed in 1092.  You can see the cathedral behind the tower above.

You may be interested to know that a number of famous people were born in that region of Tuscany:

Leonardo Da Vinci
Galileo Galilei in Piza
Andrea Bocelli
Michelangelo
Giacomo Puccini

THE VATICAN CITY

The second stop in Italy was Rome.  We took a trip to the Vatican City, the smallest country in the world.  We walked from our coach to St. Peter’s Square.

See the photograph below showing the lovely architecture within the square, and straight ahead you can see the window where the Pope stands to deliver his Sunday message. [See the top window slightly to the right of my head.] We had just missed the highlight of the Pope delivering his Sunday address, as when we arrived, visitors were leaving in throngs.

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We regret not having enough time to visit the museums or the cathedral due to long queues.

Within the square stands a glorious sculpture dedicated to migrants called “Angels Unaware.” It is a boat cast in bronze by the Canadian artist, Timothy P. Schmalz, depicting 140 migrants ranging from a Jewish man escaping Nazi Germany, to a Syrian refugee, fleeing the civil war. The boat faces in the direction towards St. Peter’s Basilica. The statue depicts the inclusion of every migrant experience over the centuries. Humanity has always experienced migration; inclusive of all races, cultures and religions.

The 20-foot sculpture is the most awe-inspiring piece. The artist was influenced by the passage, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

I was profoundly affected, not just by the amazingly beautiful Vatican City, but also by this bronze cast statue. It serves as a reminder of all the migrants fleeing countries suffering conflict today.

Joy M. Lilley (aka Joy Gerken) May 2022

A Tale of 3 #Kitties! @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11 #Cats #Kittens

Happy belated Easter to you all.

I am giving a little insight to my lovely furry friends

They are all rescue cats.

And all live under the same roof with hubby and me.

They range in age…

-eldest is Lucy, she is thirteen. Taken last Summer…

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-Molly is nine. Shown here when she was a kitten…

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-Lily is the youngest and she is seven. Taken 2 years ago.

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Look out for stories of these three and other kitties being written as children’s tales/tails.

Stay safe and well!

…And Then I Went Shopping! @JoyGerken @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org

Hello, friends!  I’ve a little update to share.

I have just been to get my second COVID booster jab. The nurse who gave it to me was a colleague of mine in the Emergency department where we worked together some thirty years back.  She shared that I will be called again in the Autumn.  The government really is pushing forward to have a population resistant to the disease.

I was concerned that the dose given to me was not Pfizer pharmaceuticals, but Moderna Spikevax; with a name like that, one would be a little perturbed.

However, I have been assured that no data prevails to suggest that this drug does not work with other vaccines. Relieved at that news, I trotted off to do some shopping!

For your own confidence in the booster, I’ll share that the only discomfort I’ve experienced has been a slightly painful injection site.

Maybe we should expect to have these booster jabs for many years to come.  Hopefully, if we ever get to once-a-year inoculation, as with the flu vaccination, they will be given simultaneously!

Have you had a fourth booster yet?  I’d love to know!

Sometimes The Truth Is Uncomfortable but The Lies “Will” Hurt You… @JoyGerken @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org #RRBC #4WillsPub

THE TRUTH ABOUT COVID-19 VACCINATIONS

I want to share some facts and details about the current world pandemic and the need for us all to be vaccinated.  It’s time to separate fact from fiction.

The comments below were taken from health care professional journals.  My personal views concur; even though restrictions in many countries are relaxing, if you are older and have any existing health conditions, it is wise to carry on with protecting yourself as much as possible.

MYTH – The ingredients in the vaccines are dangerous.

FACT – Nearly all ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines are also found in many foods (fats, sugars, and salts).

The Johnson and Johnson/Jensen Vaccine contains a harmless version of a virus unrelated to the one that causes COVID-19. These give instructions to the cells in our body to create an immune response which helps the prevention of becoming sick with COVID-19 in the future. After our bodies produce an immune response, it discards vaccine ingredients just as it does with any information our cells no longer need.  This process is part of normal bodily functions.

MYTH – The natural immunity gained from catching COVID-19 is better than immunity from vaccination.

FACT – Vaccination is a safer and more dependable way to build immunity to COVID-19 than getting sick with it.

The vaccine causes a more predictable immune response than the infection; it gives a higher level of protection and provides added protection to those who have already had the infection.

  • One study shows those who had COVID-19 and don’t get vaccinated after recovery, are more than 2 times likely to get it again than those who have been vaccinated.
  • For people who recover from COVID-19, immunity to the coronavirus can last about 3 months to 5 years, research shows.
  • Because the length of immunity after developing COVID-19 or getting the vaccine is unknown, we need to continue practicing social distancing and wearing masks to stop the spread.

MYTH – COVID-19 causes variants.

FACT – The vaccine helps prevent new variants from emerging.

New variants occur because the virus is constantly changing through a natural on-going process of mutation. High vaccination coverage in a population reduces spread and helps prevent new variants from emerging.

MYTH – All adverse events reported are caused by the vaccines.

FACT – Anyone can report an event, even if unclear if it is due to the vaccines. Because of this, VAERS data alone cannot determine if the event was caused by a COVID-19 vaccine.

Some reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, confidential, or unverifiable. Vaccination safety experts study adverse events, and look for unusually high numbers of health problems or patterns after people have received a vaccine.

MYTH – The vaccines contain microchips.

FACT – Vaccines are developed to fight disease not to track your movement.

MYTH – The vaccine will make me sick.

FACT – COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19.  Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever.  These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus.  

MYTH – The vaccine will affect my fertility.

FACT – No evidence is currently available that points to any vaccinations causing infertility in either males or females.

So, what do you believe?  Have you relaxed your standards of moving around in the world because mask mandates have been relaxed in certain places?  Or, are you continuing to practice social distancing and mask-wearing until we get a clearer picture of whether or not we are really out of the woods yet? 

#Ashamed @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11 #RRBC #Ukraine #England #4WillsPub

Hello, everybody, and thanks to you all for the amazing support I am receiving as RRBC’s March 2022 “SPOTLIGHT” Author!

I have to get something off my chest today.

For the first time in my life, I feel ashamed of the stance my government is taking regarding the refugees from Ukraine. We have taken in so few of them to date, and yet almost every day, asylum-seekers from many other parts of the world arrive at our shores in rubber dinghies and are taken in.

Today sees the U.K. issuing 700 visas for the refugees, however it is taking far too long to process them and bring these poor souls into Britain. My heart aches for these people. Poland and surrounding countries in Europe are taking them in by the thousands.

I appreciate the fact that we are a small island, but in my opinion, we are failing these innocent people.

Thank you for bearing with me as I shared my thoughts for today.  What do you feel about the support refugees are getting from around the world?  Do share your own thoughts down below. 

I hope to see you again soon!

~Joy