I’m a blogging magpie

Just as magpies are attracted to shiny and sparkly things to build their nests, my attention is drawn to a range of exciting shiny and sparkly topics to write about which form the foundations of my blog.

My blogging friend, Sadje asked if there is one topic we write about more than others in her Sunday Poser #125. I guess since I’m a blogging magpie, the answer has to be no. Maybe as I write and develop my writing skills, I may find I have a preference, but for now I’m enjoying variety and my shiny and colourful range of topics.

In terms of writing, I go from more formal and serious pieces on academic/study skills and occasional HR topics, through to exploring my interests by writing about leisure pursuits – visits to cafes and restaurants. You can see I still have a lot to do as despite the title of my blog (Curiosities, Castles and Coffee Shops) no castles have featured yet. I hope to change that over the Easter break as I’m planning a magical visit to Stirling Castle.

Perhaps magic could be a possible ‘most popular theme’ for me. Not deliberately, but I have written a couple of ‘magical’ posts which have been some of the most enjoyable to create.


I have also been exploring writing more creatively, but its still early days, and I can’t really say I have a preferred topic or genre. Building my shiny magpie blog allows me to explore different ways of writing and develop my writing abilities.

Where I am today and where I see things going/developing

Study Skills

I hope to develop a good range of resources that will provide support and guidance for students. When I started this blog I did wonder if I should have separate blogs for the different areas, but it would appear that the variety of categories is working for this magpie.

Professional Posts

I’d put this into two separate areas as I consider myself to have 2 separate professions – that of HR professional and as an educator/lecturer. I don’t feel I’ve really developed my writing in these areas yet, but they are of interest. In particular HR and looking at the ways in which the world of work changes and how it impacts on us all. I guess my most recent post about Hate Crimes would fit under this banner.


Castles and Coffee Shops

Linking to one of the original foci of the blog. I do like my sight-seeing jaunts, historic monuments, coffee shops (and restaurants) and some interesting curiosities. These are fun and I will definitely be continuing. I won’t always succeed, but I do try to find a different angle and look for some curiosities in my experiences. Check out the seaside in Sheffield as an example (and one of my first posts)



This one is difficult to define as I guess I can add a creative flare to anything. I write about. So I will write creatively when and where inspiration strikes, be that blogging prompts, 4am inspiration, or magic stardust at coffee shops. Its the one area where I really don’t know what direction it will take, but its also the one I’m most excited about, perhaps because its allowing me to venture into the unknown.


Reflecting on what I’ve just written, I love writing and discovering I’m not bad at it; so I’m enjoying blogging. The variety of blogging categories works because I can write shorter, more straightforward posts while I work on the more in-depth pieces which require more research etc, allowing me to be able to blog as often as I would like. However, I fear I may be overthinking as even the ideas that seem to be straightforward – turning into magpies as this post demonstrates – it would have been easy to answer the question; not sure where the magpie idea came from but I decided to run with it. Creativity is everywhere.

They say variety is the spice of life – so no single preferred theme, but lots of sparkle and I’ll keep you on your toes, wondering what I’m going to delight you with next.

Happy reading and blogging from your favourite Magpie. 😘

Being a blogging magpie, I also like collecting subscribers, so sign up today


  1. I like magpies! They’re beautiful!

    I had a brief period of itchy feet and explored a few castles (Arundel, Oxford, Southsea, Portchester, Cardiff) and some ruins like Corfe and one in Bridgnorth. I suppose I like the stories associated with them ☺️ Funny though, I lived near the Tower of London, but I only passed it numerous times, not actually been in it! I should have done. Oh well..

    I’m currently studying genomics medicine, so I started writing about stuff related to it. They did say to write what you know. I’m thinking of diversifying, too. Not often enough as I think I’ve put too much on my plate 😁 I’ve written short thriller stories on a different platform, and finished my novelette (finally!)

    I suppose the most important thing is we enjoy what we’re doing! So, have fun!

    • Thanks Hardy. I agree, the key thing is to have fun. I see a lot of magpies around me and although they are noisy, I think their beautiful birds.
      I spent a year living in France, the Loire Valley, so visited lots ofchateaux. I’ll need to see if I’ve photos saved anywhere. Maybe do some posts from memory … or an excuse for many return trips. In the meantime, Scottish castles should keep me out of mischief

      • Aye! I think the latter (excuse for many return trips) should do it! Make new memories!

        It’s a shame some people demonise magpies (and the crow family as a whole) when they are beautiful and intelligent birds. That’s just how some people are, though. Passing judgment with what little knowledge they have about some things.

        Anyway, I look forward to reading about your castle adventures!

  2. I like your approach to blogging as I am a bit of a magpie myself. Certainly interesting stuff. And when one finds many subjects interesting it’s difficult to stay in just one genre. Though I certainly try. I too am an academic. We seem to have lots in common. And I look forward to ALL your future posts Brenda, whatever the genre.

  3. Whatever the theme your word collective is always easy to read and enjoyable, educational or thought provoking. It’s a nice option to drop both researched topics and observations of a lighter theme onto your site. If the subject is of self interest it is fantastic to find no hardship in putting a decent blog together. And that’s what you seem to do because they ‘flow’. I suppose if it is a difficult unknown subject to think about before writing, it isn’t a challenge to see if you can tackle it and succeed. It’s a challenge to find the motivation to actually want to try when you have so many options to choose that are more comfortable to express. But a challenge is a good thing. Testing your skills. I always enjoy your posts. Cheers.

  4. nothing wrong with a magpie’s approach to life, there’s lots going on out there. like you, I blog about many things –

  5. What an interesting question to consider. I think your blog name is great because it gives you great flexibility! Thanks for sharing all your interests with us. Can’t wait for the castle!

  6. I like how you’ve described your blog as a magpie blog. A variety of topics is a treat to read. Thanks Brenda for sharing

  7. Magpie
    Well that’s interesting 🤔☺️

    Yes, keep sharing whatever you like.
    Keep sharing diverse content and keep exploring

    Hoping to see an actual castle.

    What are you in reality? Strict or fun? Because you sound fun but ever since you told that you are a teacher, I got scared.

    • Well I asked the class today (we were discussing organisational culture) and I’m not laid back. I’m firm. They know what’s expected but I try to be fair. I do have high standards … but some of my students read my blog … maybe we should let them answer 😁
      I think one of my colleagues is usually described as the fun one

      • Ohhh
        I would like to know from your students then

        What’s the best version of you.

        I enjoy this BH, who’s fun and not serious at all

  8. Variety is the spice of life, for sure. I agree with you. I think having a range of interests is useful as a writer. It helps us connect unrelated dots in inventive ways. Great post Brenda. 🙏

  9. Magpie seems to be best, Brenda. If it looks shiny then it might be good to write about. I think that is the best thing about our own blogs, we can write about what we enjoy. A variety in posts seems to be well received in this blogging community. Enjoy Stirling Castle.

      • Thanks for asking, Brenda. Things are slow, Brenda. The housing market is virtually at a standstill down here in England. We have more people viewing our home at the weekend. Some agents are not letting people view unless they are under offer. Frustrating at the moment but we will get there.

  10. I used to have travel in the title of my blog but changed it when i found this too restricting, so that i too can write whatever i like! I also have experience of handling multiple blogs for different topics and it gets confusing! best to stick to one and be a magpie in it.

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