Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Summer Spotlight: Johanna Bradley

145 Comments

IMG_1206You know that sense of panic you have when confronted with a blank sheet of paper? Well, I’m experiencing it right now! I’m Johanna Bradley, by the way, and I run a blog called Restlessjo. The blog is my writing space, and I can kick off my shoes and feel totally comfortable in there. I hope my visitors can too.

When I tentatively suggested to Jill that I would be up for a little Friday Fun, it seemed like a good idea. Now I’m wondering whatever possessed me to mingle with so many great writers and high achievers. Maybe I’m hoping that a little inspiration will rub off on me. Words have always been my friends, but occasionally they can be the enemy too.

How did I get into blogging? For as long as I can remember, I’ve had the travel bug. I always kept a diary when I travelled, initially scribbled on the back of my postcard collection. It made the extravagance of buying so many postcards seem not so bad. This was long before digital, and I often experienced the crashing disappointment of abysmal photographs, even when I ‘knew’ I’d framed a superb shot! The postcards gave me a pictorial memory along with my travelogue.

One day I saw a job advertisement, of sorts. It was from a newly formed travel company called Simonseeks. The concept was for travellers to write their own mini guides to the places they had visited and publish them on the site, complete with photographs. In exchange they would receive a tiny percentage of any profits generated for the company by the guide. I loved the idea, and was soon engrossed in sharing my travel experiences.

Sadly the company foundered after a couple of years, but it had given me a taste of doing something that I loved. I continued to write for other outlets, but couldn’t find the ‘perfect fit’. I wanted to tell my stories in my own way. And that is exactly what I have the luxury of doing on my blog. I have discovered a love of photography too, and, though I am technically inept, I delight in telling a story in conjunction with my photos.

Could I write something ‘deeper’ or more substantial? I don’t really know. I don’t have the imagination or flair to write fiction. Those of you familiar with my blog will know that my Dad is Polish, and that I include a little of his extraordinary story in my Personal A-Z of Poland. It has the potential for a book, but it doesn’t feel like it’s mine to write.

I live in the north east of England, but am lucky enough to have a home in the Eastern Algarve, not too far from the Spanish border. It was bought as a place to retire to, where my husband might paint and I could scribble. We visit when we can and few things make me happier than finding new places to paddle and old ruins to explore. Maybe someday I’ll write that travel book. Who knows?

The Tavira Island ferry

The Tavira Island ferry

A flowering cactus in the Algarve

A flowering cactus in the Algarve

Tavira seen from the flyover

Tavira seen from the flyover

It’s ‘Question Time’! Jill has been an amazing hostess all summer. I am in just a little awe of this dinner party, but deeply grateful for the invitation.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Michael Palin- author and traveller extraordinaire. He has the twinkliest eyes and the kindest manner. Although I talk a lot, I’m really quite shy inside. I know that he would be gentle with me, and make me laugh, as he elaborated on all those amazing travels of his.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Ride a bike! I am a perpetual source of disappointment to my husband. He trails disconsolately after me as I pursue the travel adventure. ‘Just one more corner’ has been my stock phrase for my whole life. It all has to be done on foot, because I can’t ride (or successfully drive a car, either- but that’s another story). There’s many a weary day he’s said to me ‘if only you could ride a bike’. And think of the extra ground we could cover!

Me and my husband river rafting on the Dunajec

Me and my husband river rafting on the Dunajec

After death, if you were to come to life as an animal, which would you choose?

A dolphin. I’m not much of a swimmer but I have always been fascinated by water. It has to be warm water, though. One of my most magical memories is of an opalescent sunset, between the islands of La Gomera and Tenerife. We eagerly scanned the water for these friendly and curious creatures. I am the clumsiest person you ever met. To be able to glide seamlessly and frolic in that water would be the greatest joy. Exploring the underwater world, an added bonus.

What celebrity do you get mistaken for?

Helen Mirren. Don’t tell her, will you? She’d be appalled!
For my daughter’s wedding last year, I bought a quite becoming long frock. It cried out for a little fur stole and elbow length gloves (it was a winter wedding). No tiara, mind you! How flattered was I when somebody remarked that I looked just like ‘the Queen’. Not entirely regal though. As my daughter pointed out at the reception, ‘Mum, you’re wearing your choker upside down!’ She would know as she had made it for me.

If you could visit one place in the entire world, where would it be?

Isn’t that the hardest question for a person who wants to go everywhere? I’m torn! The oriental has always called to me, yet I have never been to the Far East. Pagodas and temples are the stuff of dreams for me. An island paradise with lush gardens and the tinkle of wind chimes waits for me somewhere.

Many thanks, Jill. I hope I haven’t bored you.

Thank you so much for taking the spotlight and for sharing some of your beautiful photographs, Jo. You and your lovely blog are never boring! Up next week is John Howell.

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, published by Harlequin Love Inspired released on February 21, 2017 and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

145 thoughts on “Summer Spotlight: Johanna Bradley

  1. Thanks a lot for being so patient with me, Jill. You did a fabulous job! 🙂
    I will reblog this on mine later in the day. Many thanks for the encouragement and support.

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  2. It was nice to meet you, Jo. I think you have a very interesting life, with your life in England and your other home near Spain! And all your travels! To see and experience the world the way you seem to do must be so refreshing!!!!! “They” say that possessions do not bring as much happiness to a person as memories.
    Lucky you! Thank you for sharing parts of your life with us!

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  3. Enjoyed this Jo. I too had a couple of homes, one in town and one by the sea. Finally, gave up in town and now sit by the sea writing myself into oblivion. Thanks Jill for this delightful post

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  4. “Could I write something ‘deeper’ or more substantial?” Jo, what’s more substantial than your wonderful life? I’m glad you’ve chosen to share your adventures! Your blog is delightful!

    And Jill, I’m glad to meet so many wonderful writers in your community. I’m not surprised that they discovered your blog.

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    • Thank you for your lovely comments and your visit to my blog. I will return the favour later. 🙂

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      • Aw…thank you, L. Marie. I feel blessed to have met so many wonderful people and to have discovered your blog. I’m looking forward to your spotlight post. 🙂
        Jo’s blog is wonderful, isn’t it? I always feel as though I’ve taken a vacation.

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  5. Just think, if you master the bike, you could take a bike tour through France! Wouldn’t that be lovely? I too love to travel, and my husband and I have talked about a bike trip through France. Then again, trains are nice, too. 😉

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  6. I loved your opening line. You filled the page well.

    I believe people would welcome your down-to-earth approach to travel writing (“Regular Jo”? Feel free to use that). Who hasn’t been frustrated by a picture not turning out the way we expected or finding ourselves in an awkward situation when traveling. You could convey those experiences in a relatable way.

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  7. Hi there Jo – nice to meet you properly! I like Michael Palin too, right from the Python days, but his round the world travelogues are him at his best.
    It’s lovely to have a continued wanderlust – always somewhere new to explore. I hope you fulfil your dream of travelling to the Far East – I’m sure you’d love it! Envious of your home on the Algarve – it must be wonderful to have somewhere to escape to 🙂

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  8. Enjoyed your post, Jo. Just the right touch of sharing.

    Now . . . if what you want to do is learn to ride a bike . . . do it! We started bike riding when we moved to Florida 5 years ago (after not riding for more than 30 years) and it’s a wonderful way to get around. You can always get an adult tricycle with a BIG basket for picnic lunches.

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  9. I have been missing Jill’s spotlights this summer but after reading about restlessjo, I am regretting the pull of summer away from the computer. Now following you restlessjo and Thank You Jill for sharing.

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    • Thank you so much, Dorann 🙂 I can well understand the pull of summer. I blog very early in the morning and in the evenings at this time of year. Lovely to meet you. I’ll come and say hi a little later.

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    • Hi Dor! This has been so much fun. Not only am I learning more about some of my blogging friends, but I’m meeting their friends. Everyone seems to get along swimmingly. 🙂
      Enjoy your weekend! I am over due for a visit to my favorite place…the Shenandoah Valley…aka…your blog!

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  10. What a lovely spotlight on you Jo! I chuckled when I read that you had your choker on upside down, that is something I would do as well. I am certain my daughter would delight in letting me know:)

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  11. Congratulations, Jo. If you have difficulty balancing a bike, why not try a trike (adult version of course – I remember how tall you are!) ?

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  12. Enjoyable interview and nice pictures. Tis a nice thing you do! 🙂

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  13. Jo, you never need to worry about running out of words! You have a relaxed, chatty style which makes people want to read on!

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  14. Loved this Jo! Wonderful to get to know you better – I love your writings and photography and hope we get to enjoy for many years.

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  15. Loved learning all this about you Jo and you write so well!

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  16. Lovely to read more about one of my favourite travel blogs – thank you Jill for featuring the restless one, and thank you Jo for divulging so much about yourself, Sue is right, you do have a lovely relaxed chatty style. I feel as though I have known you all my life.

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    • Hi Jude 🙂 I’m spreading myself around tonight 🙂 I do love to write and the writing came long before the photography so when Jill asked, I couldn’t stop myself. The blog is more visual than anything else these days, so it’s nice to ‘prattle on a bit’. Thanks for your company. It’s much appreciated 🙂

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      • Hi Jude! The pleasure has been all mine. Like yourself, I’ve so enjoyed learning more about Jo. We all know what a talented photographer and writer she is but there is so much more to this tiny dynamo!
        Jo, I’m so happy you stopped by to “prattle.” 🙂

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  17. What a treat to meet you, Jo! You have a writing style that really draws me in; and you do take lovely photos. Until today, I didn’t know where Eastern Algarve and Tavira were. It looks like you enjoy living there. Like you, I prefer to live near the water.

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    • Hello! Hello! 🙂 I don’t have your name but I’ll come and meet you properly later. Thank you for your lovely comments.
      We’ve had the house in Tavira for 10 years now and we have some lovely neighbours and a walking group over there, so it’s ‘home from home’.

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      • Hi Nicole! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll take the time to check out Jo’s blog. She has a huge collection of spectacular photographs. Her Monday walk feature is one of my favorites.
        Enjoy your weekend!

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  18. Well hello travelling pal of mine! How lovely to see you here Jo! I thoroughly enjoyed reading more about you and you could never, ever be boring. I for one, along with many others, love your travel blog and reading all about your adventures. And I can see from this photo of you and hubby that you do look a bit like Helen Mirren, but please take that as a compliment. I think she is gorgeous! Also, it’s really lovely to see a photo of the two of you…your hubby looks identical to a hubby of a friend of mine!!!! I totally agree with Sue and Jude about your lovely, chatty style. To prove the point, when I saw you were shining beneath Jill’s spotlight today, I poured myself a glass of wine, put the dinner on, bubbling nicely (supposed to be a curry but that remains to be seen, ha!), await my eldest son’s arrival by train and settled down to read your post. It’s been like opening the pages of a book I’ve been looking forward to reading! So you should really think about writing that travel book…I think it would be delightful, and with your beautiful photographs, who could resist? 🙂
    Thanks again Jill for another wonderful Summer Spotlight…as you can tell, I know Jo and this has been a real treasure 🙂

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    • So funny, Sherri! I’m getting in a muddle and I have my reply to the previous lovely lady (whose name I don’t even know yet) in the wrong place. It’s a good job you know me 🙂 I felt like a bit of a fraud among all these authors, Sherri, but I’ve been made very welcome. Thank you for your kindness.

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      • No problem, and Jo, you are no fraud…and you couldn’t be in a kinder, more welcoming and friendlier place than Jill’s pad..but you don’t need me to tell you that! I really did enjoy reading your guest post along with everyone else, and I meant to say too that I love Michael Palin. He would be great to sit next to at a dinner party wouldn’t he? Great choice 🙂

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      • You were down at the bottom of the list, I noticed, Sherri 🙂 Have you got yours written? I’ve got my glass now. All I need is Palin. Oh, well- the other half’s called Michael. He’ll have to do!
        Take care of yourself. 🙂

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      • Hi again Jo – getting back to you at last only 3 days later!! Signed off Friday night and that was that, had my eldest son home for the weekend which was lovely, so of course paying the price and heavily catching up now (but what a lovely price to pay, right?!!)
        I think I’m last on the list, which suits me fine as I haven’t answered any of Jill’s questions yet…but don’t worry Jill…I’m on it 😀
        Ahhh…I hope you had a good evening with your glass and your half a Palin! Good name Michael – my son’s and hubby’s too 😀
        Thanks Jo, you take care too. I’ll be over to your Monday walk shortly…See you there too Jill 😀

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    • That word ‘wine’ just sprang out at me! That’s obviously what I’m missing 🙂
      Have a wonderful weekend!

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    • Hi Sherri! First off, how did that curry turn out? 🙂
      I agree, Jo has a talent for putting words to her photographs. I think she is capable of writing an excellent travel book. We’ll have to work on that…peer pressure…peer pressure. 🙂
      I too enjoyed the lovely photo of Jo and her husband. They look perfect together! Of course in my original placement of her photos, I put her next to the text about Michael Palin and the caption said, “Me and my husband, Michael.” Oops! Yes, her husband’s name is Michael, but she isn’t married to Michael Palin. 🙂
      It’s so nice to get to know our friends a little better.
      I hope you have a fabulous weekend, Sherri! DFD sends his love as do I. xoxo

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      • Oh Jill, this has been quite the conversation here and look how late I am for the party….again!!!! Can’t believe I missed this…… aaaaargggghhh!!!
        Firstly, the curry…it didn’t turn out because I didn’t make it in the end!!! Couldn’t get a couple of the vital ingredients at our local supermarket and ran out of time so I ended up rustling up something with chicken, veggies and a tomato sauce!!!
        Secondly, yes, we need to work on Jo for her travel book most definitely…nothing like that peer pressure… 😉
        And finally, I can only assume from reading your comment here about Jo’s hubby Michael and then Michael Palin and then reading Jo’s comment below that there has been quite some hilarity going on here!!
        I can see the confusion with all the Michael’s though 😉
        Your Summer Spotlight is proving to be Spectacularly Successful (try saying that after a few glasses of bubbly, haha!!!) and rightly so. Really wonderful getting to know everyone.
        Ahh…thanks Jill, can’t believe it’s Wednesday already but it was so lovely to spend the weekend with my big boy 🙂 I get to have Nicky home this weekend and then…well, you know!! I hope you and DFD are having a good week and love right back to you and DFD 😀 ❤ xoxo

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      • Ha ha! I’m sure your chicken and veggie dish was delicious, Sherri! Well, you’ve created quite the tongue twister, I don’t think I could say it even without the bubbly!
        I know you’re getting sooooooo excited! 😉

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  19. Help, Jill! I need you to delete that last comment 🙂 🙂 I don’t have the power. Just as well or I could really wreak havoc!

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  20. Jill, thanks for getting Jo to share a bit more of her lovely self. What a great article!

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  21. Ah, Restless Jo … what a lovely woman she is ! And what a lovely post … I must go and compliment her on it …

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  22. wonderful to meet you Jo! My sister lives in the Algarve – lovely beaches, great food etc (Portugal is beautiful country). I’m wondering if you have ever ventured north beyond Lisbon and Porto etc? I too was bitten by the travel bug and I love postcards. In fact I insist on sending and receiving them (many of them have been sent from me to myself from various ports) 🙂

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  23. Oh, Johanna, it’s a such a pleasure to meet you. I was so completely entertained by your post here at Jill’s blog. Love your sense of humor and you seem like such a lovely, down to earth type person. I like you already. And I’m thrilled to have found another travel/photo blog. I’m addicted to them. 😀

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    • Hi Elizabeth! 🙂 I noticed you’d followed my blog but haven’t had time to return your visit yet. I will, I promise! I must set up my Six word Saturday post but I’ll be right back 🙂 Thanks a lot!

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    • Hi Elizabeth! I knew you and Jo would hit it off. Believe me, her travel and photo blog is extremely addicting…but in a great way. I always feel as though I’ve take a mini get-away after visiting her blog. Enjoy!

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  24. This is absolutely wonderful Jo and Jill! I love Jo’s blog and have traveled the world vicariously through her. Cheers, Jo! (and your hubby is a painter? hmmm. I wouldn’t mind seeing some of his work one day) 😉

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    • Jo and Jill! Now we sound like a nursery rhyme, Jill 🙂 There are much worse things!
      Between you and me, Dianne, and as he’s not reading this, I can tell you that Mick is not really a painter. It’s a bone of contention between us, but in the nicest possible way 🙂 Before our marriage he did some sketches of flowers for me, and framed them to hang on the wall. In retrospect, it’s one of the most romantic things he’s ever done (he isn’t!) But I really didn’t like them! I rather hurt his feelings at the time. I’m not good at disguising mine! He hasn’t picked up a paintbrush since. Oh, dear!
      BUT, he says he would paint if we ever do retire to the Algarve. 🙂

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    • Hi Dianne! I feel the same about Jo’s blog. It’s like taking a trip, but not spending any money. 🙂
      Jo…ha ha…I think we make a pretty good team even if we do sound like a nursery rhyme. It’s been great fun!

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  25. Jo I so enjoyed reading about your start and learning more about you. Should you ever want to learn to cycle I would be so happy to be with you. I rode a bike as a kid but truly I didn’t cycle seriously until 5 years ago. It changed my life. Would love to open up that chapter for you.:)

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    • I don’t have any sense of balance whatsoever, Sue! (you remember me falling down that hole) It’s really kind of you to make that offer. And to take the time to read this. Funny- I just remembered to pop over from 6WS. There is no escape from that Johanna person this afternoon 🙂

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  26. Jill, you’ve created a wonderful variety of Fun Friday interviews! And Johanna, we’ll hope it’s a very long time before you become a dolphin. Your details about travel writing were so much fun, and it was delightful to get to know you!

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    • Thanks a lot, Marilyn 🙂 I’ve seen you in Jill’s comments before, I’m sure, but don’t think I’ve had the pleasure? I’ll come and say hi some time today. See you then! 🙂

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    • Thank you, Marylin! I’m happy you’re enjoying the interviews, I know I am! I’ve learned so much about everyone, not just from their posts and answers to my questions, but through the comment interaction. It’s great!

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  27. A lovely bit of prattle, Jo. Lovely to learn more about you and to know you do wonderfully normal things like turning up to the wrong church!

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  28. Great job Jo and Jill! Delighted to discover a bit more about one of my favourite people online 🙂

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    • Thanks Madhu! I appreciate you stopping by. I’ve been out all day and just approved this comment, that’s why Jo hasn’t commented yet. I’m sure she’ll be back. Like yourself, I’ve enjoyed learning more about, Jo…she’s great!

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    • Hello, Madhu 🙂 So nice of you to spend your busy days visiting my blog (oops, Jill’s blog!) We’ve had a lot of fun with this. Bit like two schoolkids run riot, so please excuse me. (I know you will!)

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  29. I am a big fan of writers who travel and share their adventures with all of us, who live vicariously through these! I enjoyed the interview and will go check out your writing, ‘in person,’ along with wishing you, Johanna and Jill, a lovely life! You are serving a great audience a wonderful weekly post, we would all benefit from coffee, tea and some kind of roundtable to gather and listen to these authors! Thanks for this great read, Jill and best of luck and joy in your travels, Jo! Smiles, Robin

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  30. Oh my gosh, Johanna, I love that you shared that anecdote about wearing your choker upside down! It’s so humanizing and makes me want to know you more! And who doesn’t love dolphins! Magical creatures. Loved this, checking out your blog ASAP!

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  31. It is wonderful to see you SPOTLIGHTED Jo…you deserve it and more.

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  32. Jo is the best. What a perfect feature!

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  33. Hi Jo. From your opening comment, I can tell you belong to the writing community. So pleased to make your acquaintance, even if only by cyber-space. Cheers for your blog and good wishes for learning to ride a bike. I’m cheering you on. Just channel your inner Helen!

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  34. Pleasure to meet you, Jo! These words of yours really resonated with me (and many other writers, I’m sure): “Words have always been my friends, but occasionally they can be the enemy too.”
    Your blog sounds lovely and I look forward to visiting.

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  35. So glad I saved this to read when I had time.Ms. Dolphin. We are the opposite , I bike everywhere but can hardly stay afloat. So nice to know more about you lovely Jo!

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  36. Fabulous learning more about you Jo!!!!

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  37. Johanna thanks for sharing your world. I love reading about travel and have done a little myself. I also lined up to get a book signed by Micheal Palin and he is such a lovely man. Adore his writing style too. Happy writing. Kath

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  38. It’s wonderful seeing you here Jo! And I learned a little more about you. And Jill I hope your summer is going well. Take care both of you!

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    • Hi TBM! Yeah, Jo looks great in the spotlight, doesn’t she? 🙂 The summer is great, but it’s going much to fast! I hope all is well with you.

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    • TBM! 🙂 Our paths don’t cross often enough any more but there just aren’t the hours in the day, are there? Well, I know you don’t have that problem because you spin a few yourself 🙂 Hope all’s going well.

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  39. Checking out, Jill! 🙂 🙂
    Armchair with an ice pack on my head! You’ve worn me out. Over to John! 🙂
    It was a pleasure.

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  40. Love your pictures and enjoyed being introduced to your blog, Jo – you had me at the first mention of lobster!

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