Monday, 18 August 2014

A Flavour of Italy.

 A Preview Peek at The Long Leg of  ITALY.

Final draft has now been submitted to publisher for the a casting over of the gimlet eye.
What a journey it has been and an emotional one at that as we revisited our journeys over the years.

Our love affair with Italy started because 'him indoors' would not have a party for a special anniversary some years ago. 
'We will have a little trip,' He informed me.
He meant one in the UK but I had other fish to fry. A burning need to fulfil a dream glowed inside me.
After plotting and planning all one winter - before the big day - I announced,
'You want a trip for our anniversary? Well, I want to go to Rome, and if we go to Rome I want to go to Florence and Venice.' I waited with baited breath.
'I will think about it.'
A few days later he came home from work an announced that he had been talking to someone in work and that if we were going to Rome we would need a new camera.

Later, we discussed the options and so began our love affair with Italy. We had only been abroad twice at that time and those trips were an organised group travel where everything was planned.
This three-centre trip was a huge leap in the dark. We would be independent travellers. On our own. Just Us Two.

Back to the present.

Our digital photo frame is busy scrolling through photos of our southern Italy tour in 2011 to Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Ostuni, Martina Franca, Alberobello with the trulli houses (see picture top left), Trani, Altomonte,,, the list goes on. All little dots on the map. Some were not even on the map. Saga Holidays had planned well.  

St Peter's Dome. Rome
House of the Vestal Virgins. The Forums. Rome.

But we ventured first to Rome

at Easter. . . with the temperatures at 70 degrees in March! Modern technology has allowed us to scan photographs and convert to digital files.

More later. The curtain is closed for now on the little peek.

Rosalie x

Monday, 11 August 2014

Living in an oasis of calm.

Hello from Rosalie's Chatter. Have you all had a good week?

Employment first.

For the last two weeks I have been concentrating on employment, moving forward, and what is expected in the business environment. It is that time of year when exam results are not always as expected and an army of young people have to think about earning their living.
On that point, don't ignore Apprenticeships. They are a fantastic way to earn while you learn and don't forget, although you may not be paid as much as some of your peers, you are not paying for your training. At the end you will have a good qualification, bags of experience and no student debt.
Read the guest articles I wrote sometime ago for about getting that first job and how parents and family can offer support. 
There are more articles in the Feature Articles and Scribbles link in this blog. One is about Steps to Employment.It is relevant for those seeking their first job. And some results are out this week aren't they. Back into the world of work: Steps to Employment. 
Guest Feature posted in Women's Thoughts on-line magazine August 30th 2012 

My Oasis.

But enough of that. What about my oasis of calm as I bury myself in editing a manuscript?
After immersing myself in a huge spell-check session and then tackling the manual edits which my copy-edit/proof-reader found, I have once again been transported back to Italy. An an emotional journey it has been I can tell you. Our first foray to Italy was as an Independent Traveller when we had only been abroad twice and that in an organised group. I am amazed and kept thinking,among my tears, 'Did we do all this?' 
As with the first two in the Just US Two Travel series, we have chosen and prepared the photos to include at salient points in the story. All in colour in the eBook.
Constructive feedback on the first draft for the jacket cover, confirmed one of my thoughts and the jacket has been re-designed. We had more good constructive feedback yesterday so I think we are on the right track.

Another side of my oasis has been my focus on getting fit.
I am always banging on about taking control of your own learning and development. I thought it was time that I took control of my long-neglected fitness.
So, hey-ho! It was off to our local Gwyn Evans Leisure and 
Activity Centre where they had a summer special offer. At the moment I am hurrying to finish this post, as I am off to my Aquafit session shortly. Later in the week I will do a circuit of the gym followed by a gentle swim in the pool at one of the General Swim slots. The gym all came back to me from about ten years ago when I was fit from regular gym and pool sessions. Something certainly went by the board didn't it?  The pool exercises are hard work, especially the polystyrene dumb-bells. No pain, no gain though. The range of machines in the gym is amazing and apart from weight-lifting, I use all of them. My favourite is still the rowing machine which is a good stress buster. You can sort all your problems out on one of those you know. I was pleasantly surprised by the bike as I found this hard last time. Here they have a couple with a back rest which you can adjust for comfort. Great! And I can watch the TV while I pedal as the machines have little screens now plus, there is a large screen on the wall. The time soon passes. Even better I don't have to pay for the pool as I am over that special age which comes to us all - if we are lucky.

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Take Care.

Rosalie xx

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Some Basic Skills for Employability. Check Your Knowledge.

Last month our first topic in this series was 'Working Effectively in the Workplace - An Employability Skill.'
You are looking for a job or promotion. You have had an interview. Did you impress the interviewer - your prospective employer? Do you have what it takes or have you failed on some basic points?

Below are some check points based on the topics in Chapter Three of Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment. They can be found at the end of the chapter.

"If you have completed all the tasks set out in this chapter properly, we can see if you have understood the lessons in the topics.
You have learned about attitude and behaviour required in the workplace; things to think about in getting to work on time; how to communicate effectively and a little about working effectively.

In Chapters One to Three we have looked at preparing for work (looking for a job and where you fit in); how to go about getting the job you want; and working effectively in the workplace. You have come a long way in a short time haven’t you?
For now . . .

Check your knowledge.

  1. What action should you take if you are delayed in getting to work?
  2. Why is personal hygiene important?
  3. Name three methods of communication.
  4. Is it acceptable to use slang or ‘text speak’ in e-mails? Y/N
  5. You have been given a task and don’t understand one of the instructions. What do you do?
  6.  Why is it important to plan what you have to do?
  7. Name two kinds of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  8. Why is it important to look at how well you did the job or task?
You will find the answers within the chapter. Now you can go back and check your knowledge 

Then it will be time to take a break before moving on to the next chapter where we will take  a brief look at ICT in the workplace—e-mail, the Internet, the basics of Excel Worksheets, health and safety when using computers—and where you go from here." Excerpt from Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment.

To read more and prepare for work or to improve your current practice follow the link here to your favourite bookseller or online retailer worldwide in Rosalie's Bookstore. Available in print, Kindle, Adobe Digital Editions *pdf and ePub for iBookstore, Kobo, Nook etc.

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Monday, 4 August 2014

Is - Skills for Employability - for You?

Some Features and Benefits for Those Seeking Employment and for Teachers, Tutors, and Trainers.

Over the last two weeks I have posted excerpts from Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment. You may be asking yourself, "Is this book for me? Originally designed for the home learner and those who want to improve their career, both books - as are all the books in this series - are also a useful resource for new and existing learning programme. here is another excerpt:

"For those seeking employment:

Ø  Each chapter/section will detail the learning outcomes and relevance to other qualifications.
Ø  At the end of each topic, there will be a series of questions/activities for self-assessment to check learner progress. In turn, this will add to a sense of achievement.
Ø  Learners will be able to measure how far they have travelled.
Ø  Much of the content will feed into and is signposted to Functional Skills; Awards and Certificates in Employability and Personal Development; or Personal Life and Employability Skills, all of which are linked to the Qualification Credit Framework (QCF).
Ø  All content will relate to the current gaps in knowledge & understanding and softer skills for those who are pre-employment e.g. Year 10 and Year-11 school leavers; 16-18 year old unemployed; returners to work; learners with disabilities who are seeking a change of employment, are in employment and seeking to enhance their prospects or are between jobs.
Ø  The book will have some illustrations to enhance text.
Ø  There are links to websites e.g. for legislation and further current information. This will provide more interaction and variety for the learner and ensure currency of information.
Adult Literacy and Numeracy will not be addressed in this book, as there are many excellent resources available.
After completing Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment, learners will:
Ø  Have more awareness of the standards of behaviour and requirements of employers.
Ø  Be introduced to health and safety in the workplace.
Ø  Have an awareness of health, safety, and security relating to ICT in the workplace.
Ø  Have completed short practical activities that aim to test their understanding.
Ø  Have raised their self-esteem and confidence.
Ø  Have an awareness and understanding of the business environment.
Ø  Have some basic knowledge and understanding, which will feed into Awards/Certificates in Employability and Personal Life Skills/Development, vocational qualifications, or company training programmes.

For Teachers, Tutors, and Trainers:

Available in print and e-book formats for most readers.
Time and cost savings. A ready-made resource reduces time and cost of design and/or photocopying.

In print form, Skills for Employability Part One can be used in the traditional way with everyone having their own copy.
It can be taken away by the learner to be absorbed as part of homework or an assignment.
It can be issued as a resource for the course to be used as intended—as a workbook.

Available in a variety of e-book formats worldwide:
  • Kindle and Kindle Apps for desktop, iBook, Android etc.
  • Adobe Digital Editions DRM *pdf for desktop and readers for download from e-retailers worldwide.
  • E-Pub. Apple iBookstore, Sony eBooks, Nook, Diesel eBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and Blio.
  • Can be downloaded to a PC and be tutor led via presentation screen or whiteboard with learners following from the print version.
  • Can be downloaded to college computers or a hand-held reader for full interaction with tutors and learners.
  • Cost effective. Budget will go further.
  • Learners can adjust the font size and background colour to suit individual sight preferences, thus overcoming one of the barriers to reading enjoyment.
  • The majority of learners are used to technology and reading on-screen.

To read more and prepare for work or to improve your current practice follow the link here to your favourite bookseller or online retailer worldwide in the bookstore. Available in print, Kindle, Adobe Digital Editions *pdf and ePub for iBookstore, Kobo, Nook etc.

Hello reader,
Thank you for reading this excerpt from Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment. This is the third of the Lifelong Learning: Personal Effectiveness Guides. It aims to fill gaps in underpinning knowledge and skills needed for the future and guide you through the minefield of looking for a job and being successful at interview.
You may be on the verge of leaving school, have been unemployed for some time, and be returning to work after a number of years of home responsibility or illness. You may have a job but are unable to attend formal courses, which can help you to progress.
Whatever the scenario, I hope that this user-friendly workbook, which you can plough through at your own pace, will help you to achieve your dreams as you increase in confidence.

Rosalie Marsh

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Thursday, 31 July 2014

How to Impress an Employer at Interview. Part Two.

How will you impress an employer at interview?

In the last post we looked at some of the things you need to think about before you go for that all-important interview which will lead to your offer of a job. an interview.

It is the time of year when many are entering the bewildering world of work for the first time. You may be looking ahead to when you leave school/college next year or even want to improve and progress from your current employment.

Continuing the theme of employability skills with excerpts from  Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment, this post will look at what happens:

On the day of the interview.

 Get up bright and early. Allow yourself plenty of time. Hopefully you will have been able to book a day’s holiday from work or changed your shift. Do not just phone in sick. This is a common ruse and employers can usually see that you are not being honest. You do want a reference don’t you?

 If the interview is in your own organisation, you will need to speak to your line manager to arrange some time off in the day.

  A good breakfast will set you up for the day. A shower and clean hair is essential. Don’t forget deodorant and clean teeth! You did get an early night didn't you? Or did you go out and come home the worse for wear? If so—bad move!

  Dress carefully allowing yourself plenty of time to catch your bus or train or to get through traffic. You have planned your route haven’t you? You need to arrive in plenty of time to get through any security or checking-in procedures.

  Many organisations have a security gate. If so, the security guard usually has a list of people expected. They will tell you where to go. You will probably be directed to the reception area. Here the receptionist will take your name, and usually ask you to take a seat while someone comes to escort you to the interview room. This will be part of their security procedures.

  While you are waiting, go over your notes about the job—how will your qualities help the organisation to prosper. Take deep breaths. Remember the three C’s—cool calm and collected. If there are other interviewees in the room, do not give anything away. Stay in your own space. A smile of greeting is enough.
      When your turn comes:
  Head up, shoulders back and smile, smile, smile! If your head is up your rib cage lifts. You can breathe better and as your chin will be up, you will communicate better and more clearly. A smile on your face comes through in your voice.

  Answer the questions clearly and calmly. Perhaps bring out a piece of information on what you have done e.g. certificates, to clarify and expand on a point. Did you prepare some notes to help you refresh your memory beforehand? Be positive. If asked about your last job, focus on the things you did well.

  You will probably be asked if you have any questions. Did you remember to prepare some?

  How much will you be paid—the advert may have given a salary range.

  Holidays? Sick Pay? On-the job training? What opportunities are there to advance in the organisation?

These are just a few points. Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment has a lot of useful links where you can find more information. Links are live in the eBooks.

Chapter Two. Job Applications. Check your knowledge.

Write your answers down without looking back on the chapter.
  1. In which order should your jobs/qualifications be listed on your CV?
a)Current or latest first and work backwards to school? Y/N
b)Leaving school to the present day? Y/N

  1. What is an employer looking for in an interview?

  1. You should find out about the organisation that is advertising. Why?

Now you can go back and check your knowledge!

In this chapter, we looked at identifying what employers are looking for, looking at job vacancies, identifying personal skills and qualities, a self-assessment checklist, what do I need to do better/learn?
You will hopefully be more confident in applying for a job and attending an interview.

Social Media.

**Now might be a good time to think about how you use social media, i.e. your Facebook Page and Twitter. It is easy for an employer to find you. Do you give a good impression of yourself in the way in which you communicate with others? I came across an e-book (29 pages), which brings home how a bad social media page can cost you a job. The link to this Kindle book is at the end of this book under ‘Links’. If you do not have a Kindle e-reader, download the free Amazon Kindle app. to your computer.
a user-friendly workbook where you can work at your own pace, and explore the links for more information at a time to suit yourself.

I kicked off this theme on employability skills with an excerpt from Chapter Three - Working Effectively in the Workplace.July 24th 2014

To read more and prepare for work or to improve your current practice follow the link here to your favourite bookseller or online retailer worldwide in the bookstore. Available in print, Kindle, Adobe Digital Editions *pdf and ePub for iBookstore, Kobo, Nook etc.

Have Rosalie's Chatter delivered to your Kindle or other device wirelessly with Kindle Blogs and automatic updates. Free trial.Amazon UK  Amazon US