Two Months Without Blogging: My Conclusion + What I’ve Learned!

I'm Back

It’s been over two months since I last sat down to write a post on A Light In The Darkness and I actually can’t believe it. I haven’t been active in the blogosphere at all, no commenting, no liking, apart from keeping in touch with and following the updates of a few good friends, I’ve been completely and utterly absent.

In my letter to you guys (my final post) I explained my reasons for this break:

As much as I love blogging and all the opportunities it has created for me, I feel the need to get out there and live life.  It’s the only way I’ll be a true light in the darkness, the only way I’ll make a real difference. 

I want to be young, to be free, to go out there and have fun, spend time with my family, learn, prepare for my future and spread the sunshine. Therefore I have decided to take a short break from blogging.

My decision to take a break from the blogosphere is tinged with sadness, but I know it’s the right thing to do. I’ll miss all the amazing friends I’ve made on my journey, but I hope you’ll be there for me when I come back.

Goodbye…but never forever, guys!

But now I’m back, after two months, and I feel like I’m ready to start blogging again. Maybe this time I’ll have more of a sense of direction. Firstly though, before I get back to regular posting, I need to share with you all a few things I’ve learned about myself throughout this break and my conclusion at the end of two months without blogging.


Here goes:


I was addicted to blogging. I’m being totally honest here and believe me, it’s hard. I was sucked into this whole cycle of posting and commenting and replying and completely immersing myself in a world that’s not even real. I was creating an image of what I wanted others to see me as, I was crafting a life for myself that was seperate to the direction my real life was heading in.  And what’s worse is that I was forgetting my family, all the opportunities to learn and grow in the real world.

I relied on online friends. These couple of months have been harder than ever when it comes to friendships. It’s always a nagging problem at the back of my mind (and often in the front too), but over the time period that I wasn’t blogging, things got almost unbearable. I was traveling on a boat on the canal and I hardly ever hung out with any kids at all, let alone any my own age. I realised I’d been remedying my lack of real life friendships with online ones. I still haven’t found a solution to this issue, but I’m working on it. 😃


When you’re not distracted by blogging, life can be so much fun. The time spent not blogging wasn’t easy at all, for many reasons, but it did have good times. I don’t know if anyone else finds this, but I think blogging can be pretty stressful. It felt wonderful to be freed from that pressure. I had more spare time to spend in conversation with my family, learning new things, writing, reading, teaching and just being fully involved in day-to-day life.

You can make more of a difference by taking action and being yourself than just by writing about it. Blogging is a brilliant opportunity to be a light in the darkness, but sometimes it’s just about getting out there. I know I keep saying this, but blogging isn’t real life! It’s easy to write about making a difference, but it takes someone strong to decide to really go ahead and do it.

So there you go, Gracie is back. You’re going to notice a difference in me from now on, a positive one. I may not be quite so active in the blogosphere, but that’s only because I’ll either be out living real life, making a difference or posting about my experiences!

As I said in my letter, I hope you guys are still there. Hello? I hope you’re still willing to listen and still happy to share your thoughts with me. Anyway, here’s a goodbye from me that will hopefully spark lots of ‘hellos!’ from all of you. Xxx



P.S. After reading this through, I actually felt quite emotional. It’s good to be back, guys. 😊😊😊😊😊😊




A Break From The Blogosphere (Goodbye…but never forever!)

It is important to have fun in life, to be passionate about living.” Turning serious, she added, “You need to fight darkness with light.” ~ Rose Swale Pope


As much as I love blogging and all the opportunities it has created for me, I feel the need to get out there and live life.  It’s the only way I’ll be a true light in the darkness, the only way I’ll make a real difference.

I want to be young, to be free, to go out there and have fun, spend time with my family, learn, prepare for my future and spread the sunshine. Therefore I have decided to take a short break from blogging.

My decision to take a break from the blogosphere is tinged with sadness, but I know it’s the right thing to do. I’ll miss all the amazing friends I’ve made on my journey, but I hope you’ll be there for me when I come back.

Goodbye…but never forever, guys!

P.S. I will still be blogging on our family blog  Almost Round The Bend. So, if you’d like to keep in touch and follow, please feel free!  It’s all about our journey through life, our crazy adventures and much more…


Writing Is Beyond Words + A Ton Of Intriguing Snippets

Writing is beyond words. I feel as though I can’t describe the absolute wonder, satisfaction, emotion, purpose and passion that writing brings to my life and the lives of my fellow writers. Today I have decided to go back through my endless archive of scrappy paper and untitled Google Documents to bring you a few snippets of my writings from the past and the present and the future. 

Here goes:

#1 “So, um, you gonna talk to me or not?” Skye asked the girl.

“Why should I?” she didn’t turn around.

Skye thought for a moment. “‘Cause your parents told you to?” he answered, finally.

Amber snorted with laughter. “Would you speak to me just ’cause your parents told you to?”  she asked.

“Sure.” he shrugged “It was my parents who made me come here.”

Amber chuckled, took a sip of her coke and leaned back against the wall. “Since when do you listen to everything you parents say? I know I don’t.”

Skye stared at her.

“What?” she glared.

It’s just that, well, you are talking to me.” 

Amber giggled so hard that the coke spurted out her nose. 

#2 I pause to blow away some of the dust that’s trapped in the gaps between the letters on my keyboard. I smile as the tiny particles are momentarily suspended in a ray of sunlight that’s disturbing my writing session, in a good way. I cup my hands around it and watch them glow with golden light. It reminds me of myself.

“On the morning of your birth, the sun seemed larger than ever before.” my Mother’s sweet, quiet voice echoes in my ears. “ I saw it coming up on the horizon, huge and round and blood-red. It spread its life-giving light all over the earth and eventually it reached you. It seeped in through my window and into the shadowy room. Then it touched your head and you awoke. So I named you Sunrise and hoped you’d be full of life, laughter and most of all, light.”

I sigh as I pull off a floral-printed headscarf and a cascade of knotty, tangled brown hair tumbles down my back. My amber streaked, hazel eyes that are usually full of humour and curiosity sparkle as my big flashing smile makes an appearance on my smooth olive-skinned face.


I remember flying down that hill on your old bike.

I was on the handlebars,

screaming all the way.

We stop abruptly at the bottom.

In that moment you looked like an angel.

Your blonde hair was blowing in the summer breeze.

But then it was gone and you flashed your wicked grin.

So much for angelic.


We sat on the pavement,

eating jam doughnuts.

You drew faces with chalk and we wrote our names side by side,

scribbly and half visible in the evening light.


But tonight feels different.

All those years ago, when we swore ‘friends forever’,

That was the day I gave you myself.

I could never pretend to be someone else.

Did you ever expect me to?


It feels as if something has changed.

A cosmic shift, there’s something tearing us apart.

And I’m afraid that I’m losing you.


I am confused, angry even.


I get up to go.

You look at me with shame in your eyes.

Mine are filled with bitterness and contempt. “How dare you!?” There was no room for me.


It doesn’t bring me any joy to see you there, as I walk away,

leaving you in the dark, cold street.


I wish you’d come in to watch a movie and laugh at my stupid jokes.

What changed from when we were ten?

Nothing really mattered then.

Did it, my friend?


I look out of my bedroom window and dry my tears on the draping curtains.

You’re hunched over, crouched down beside the sketches on the sidewalk.

I see you tracing the letters of our names,

over and over again.


Then you cross them out in one sharp, motion. One angry decision.

You look up at me and our eyes lock for a second.

Your expression tells me everything:

No room for me.


Why all of this unnecessary pain?

Why do you push me away?

What could be more important?


This feels so wrong, so unnatural, so sudden.

Sometimes love can be a trap.

I feel trapped now.

But I still love you.


You were, and are, a part of me.

A part of every memory.

Now you’ve been torn away and left to die,

I’m dejected and alone.


You’ve left me overwhelmed and drenched in every possible emotion.

For once you’re​ not there to listen.

For once you’re not there to share the sorrow, the grief and the suffering.

You’re not here to help me sort it out.


You’ve always been my rock,

and now I’m slipping.

dragged down by a torrent of new, unpleasant feelings.


How can I ever explain?

I’m sure you feel the same.

Is this real?

It can’t be happening to me.

Is this all it seems?


You’ve always understood me.

Well, I guess this makes a change!


I’m still staring out of the window.

And you still haven’t walked away.

Is there hope left?

Is there room in your heart for me?

#4 It’s not complicated. It’s really only simple. Just food. Without it, your body dies. There’s no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ about it. It’s like society without community and sharing, a part of it dies. The result? Lonely lives, stress, anxiety, tension, negativity, sadness, fighting, anger, depression, lost people. This is making my head hurt.

We don’t claim to have all the answers, in fact we have very few. But we want to help. Food brings people together, provides comfort and conversation, plus it’s yummy. What more could you want? Pizza may not be the solution to the world’s problems, but if more people sat down and shared food that would mean less hungry people.

And it’s not just about the food, it’s about the stories told between mouthfuls of a hot meal. It’s about creating an atmosphere that is open and honest and welcoming. It’s about the warm feeling we all have when we go to bed. It’s about the memories we make and the friendships we form.

So, if you ever happen to be walking down the towpath and smell something cheesy…’s probably Evan’s feet! Just kidding, it’ll be a pizza, cooking away. And we’ll be there, waiting for someone, anyone, to come along and share it with us. Cast aside your pride, shyness or whatever holds you back, and be that person!

Which was your favourite piece? Do you have any constructive criticism to bestow upon me? Any writing advice? Are you even a writer? If not, what’s YOUR passion? As you know, I love to hear from you…..

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~A Guest Post By Saanvi~

Hey there, wonders. You are wonders of the world. Your value is almost always underestimated, but you do have a story. I am Saanvi, one such girl, with one blog: I enjoy reading. I write. I sing. I dance. But most of all, I think. Dream. Imagine. Believe. That’s what you have to do to get through this birth. The words that have spilled out of my heart into this post describes a general story, full of sad events, but also good ones. My dears, I want you to always remember, there is always a light in the darkness.

Often,  this world is confusing. It makes me happy, sad, and angry all at the same time, and sometimes I wonder why I am here. They say that I have a purpose in life, but somehow, even as the days unravel, it remains a mystery. This world is both beautiful and terrible; sometimes it breaks my heart to see the smiles fade, the hands slipping through, and a last word just barely passing by between them. This world is full of ungrateful people, whose mouths cannot utter even a small thank you. Then there are those who have much money with them, and yet never thought about those that didn’t. Time passes. And more time passes. And more. And with time, goes everything that you once had, simply slipping through your fingers. There’s nothing you can do. Don’t you understand? I am grieved. I don’t want this anymore-but life goes on. Your memories slowly start to fade, and then, everything goes black. It all seems like a dream. A story with an ending. Or a movie that you can watch over and over again, but don’t want to. It makes them cry. It hurts them. Until they forget about it and everything is merry again. For most people, it’s just a matter of time until they forget who provided for them, as their memory starts to cloud their thoughts. The problem is that everyone lives for themselves. This is the hard truth of life.

Thank you for reading, my lights in the darkness. Always continue to shine.
These honest, inspiring and hopeful words come from my good blogging friend, Saanvi. She sent me the draft to this guest post at a time when I was slowly drifting into a place of darkness. Thank you, my friend.
Did you enjoy this post? Are you going to check out Saanvi’s amazing blog? Would you like to guest post on  A Light In The Darkness? Collaborate? If so, please tell me so and we can get in touch. What gives you hope? Please send me a comment, I LOVE hearing from you all….

Making Fresh Pasta!!! + Italian Speakers???

Making fresh, egg pasta is one of my passions. I absolutely love creating this delicious, homemade food and sharing it with my family.  Here are some photos for you guys:

Da da!

Twiddling and twirling (not proper terminology, obviously)

Finished product! Yum!!!

My pasta story began when I started learning Italian, a huge part fulfilling my dream of going to Italy one day. I started attending an Italian cooking/speaking class and fell in love. Seeing as I am *virtually* sharing pasta with you all today, I thought I’d take the opportunity to ask if anyone knows Italian? I wondered if anyone out there is willing to help me practice my conversation, language, etc? Please let me know. Thanks! ❤❤❤

Have I made you hungry? Have you ever made fresh pasta? Would you like to try? Do you speak Italian? Tell me all….




The Beauty Of Shape And Colour: My Visit To The Glass Studio

The colours, the shapes, the sparkling of sunlight, the heat, the shattered shards of glass scattered on the floor, the ripples of molten glass, the proud displays, everything about this place captured my imagination. It fascinated me. Here’s the story of my visit to the glass studio, in photos:

There’s a lump of coloured glass on this rod, it’s heated up so that you can shape it.

Coming out…

Being shaped.

This cools the glass down.

All the blocks of glass, all shades of the rainbow.

The glass expands when…

….you blow it!

Again, moulding it to perfection.

Different tools were used for different things.

Making the handle.

Some of the things made in this studio…

The studio…

My favourite photo! All the ones that went wrong!

The finishing touches.

Did you enjoy this post? What was your favourite photo? Please let me know, I absolutely love hearing from you all! 


Team Window Vs Team Screen: Who Will Win This Epic Duel???

It’s amazing what you see when you look out if the window. It’s amazing what you miss when you’re staring at a screen. That’s why I’m keeping this post short. I’ll just tell you that I spotted one of these little fellas hiding in the reeds and it made my day!

Courtesy of Google.

Whose team are you on? Team Window  I or Team Screen? Aren’t these two unbelievably cute? Does anyone know what they are? Have a guess! Hope you enjoy this super quick post. Let the discussions commence….! ❤❤❤😁😁😁


A Reminder Of The Light

I poked my head around the door to our cabin today and saw my little sister’s face beaming back at me. She’d made this poster and stuck it to the wall above my bed. It’s a reminder to always be a light. Love you so much, Irys. I’ll do my best…

Beautiful, or what?



The Challenges (and joys!) Of Teaching

Maths yesterday! Yeah, fun. Especially when you’re the teacher. I really struggle with teaching, but it’s my dream and I won’t give up. Ever. My students are pretty good actually. Here they are teaching Dad some of the stuff they’ve learnt, and he’s probably forgotten!

What are your dreams for the future? Do you ever teach? Are you enjoying these posts about my life? It makes my day to hear from you all! 

Xxx ❤️❤️❤️

Life On The Canal: A New Chapter

Hello All, and welcome to a new blogging chapter for Gracie Chick!

As some of you may already know, I live a slightly unusual life. At the moment, my family and I are living onboard a pedal-powered canal boat, traveling the waterways of the United Kingdom. This post will give you a peek into what it’s like to live on the canal and also it might help you get to know me a bit better. Get ready for LOTS of photos!

Here goes:

Me with my home, the canal, in the background.

Our boat!

Reading in my bunk!


Swimming in a nice, clean bit.


A smelly part!

Watching the wildlife!

Eating my brother’s yummy Indian cooking.

Having fun!

Being a moody teenager.


I really enjoy crafting these little bugs made of wire.

My sister loves weaving, but is still learning.

Don’t worry, he was only drinking Sprite! 🙃😉

In Rugby, the home of the game.


Irys with Pepper, our Auntie’s dog.

Evan with Fudge, Nan’s dog.


Hope you enjoyed these! Which was your favourite?