Monday, March 7, 2016

Meet the Blogger with Hilary Melton-Butcher

March is my Blogoversary month - celebrating 7 years of blogging! What better way to kick off the celebration than with a long time faithful blogging friend -  Hilary Melton-Butcher.

Many of you already know Hilary; she's the smart and creative writer behind Positive Letters...Inspirational Stories. If you don't know her, you need to hop over and see her soon! Her posts are informative and fun, rich with history and details about her residence in Eastbourne, UK and other locales.

Hilary not only shares about history, but about her travels, general musings, and other fabulous and noteworthy topics. She even shares marvelous photos, which in my opinion, are the icing on the cake. I always learn new things when I visit, and feel as though I get to know Hilary a bit more through the sparkling commentary she offers.

Welcome Hilary! When and why did you start blogging? What is your blog about? 

Thanks for having me, Karen! I started this journey on my birthday and we (it and I) are into the 8th year … I started the blog as I wanted to know what was going on in the internet world, but certainly didn’t expect to be writing per se.

From Hilary's archives: in South Africa 
My blog reflects the eclectic nature of my curiosity; I go where I wish to be led – so it covers just about everything, some things more definitively, and some areas where I’m uncertain.

I write on history, geology, food, pubs, places, exhibitions, museums, places I’ve visited, and each post almost always includes a healthy dose of a few subjects – there’s always an interlinking thread.   But you or I will rarely know what I’ll be writing about next – other than I hope you’ll find something interesting and stimulating to read!

When I began, my mother had become terminally ill, as too a while later her brother-in-law, but both could happily talk and discuss aspects of life: so I based my early articles on items they would find interesting and stimulate our conversations.  That hasn’t changed, but I feel more confident now and comfortable with what I’m doing.

It meant my brain was kept occupied with the learning process, and the ‘oh! What am I going to write about next scenario?!’, which I’m sure many of you have experienced. I don’t follow the rules or trends – I do my own thing, but make an effort to provide readers and commenters with the type of posts they expect from me – and thus generate that interaction that really glues bloggers together with the common interest.

I’m exceedingly grateful to be amongst this blogging community – which has been an incredible experience. I don’t mind being a lone wolf, but I do like company!  I do join some blog-hops, but they are always there and people are so creative with the concepts they come up with.

I agree, it is an incredible experience. Not following the rules or trends - I must say, it really works for you. You've carved out your own wonderful niche! What benefits have you gained from blogging? 

Major benefits – are/were the support and understanding of fellow readers; in particular joining in the annual April A-Z Blogging Challenge where I’ve met so many other bloggers from all walks of life and from around different parts of the world. Then the learning curve - that continues via the contacts we have access to through the blogging fraternity.

Fellow readers and bloggers are great indeed. It is such a wonderful community. :) What are you working on now? 

I will be putting my A-Z posts into booklet form and starting that series off, as too extracting other ideas from my blog posts – now 750 plus, that shocks me! As you can imagine toddling across the keyboard has shown that I can write, have a fair degree of knowledge – yet continue to teach myself with each blogpost I write - I do hate not knowing!  

Wow, 750 posts, congratulations! That is quite an accomplishment. What might people be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a fairly open book now – but back a few decades I was very shy.   I am definitely a late developer as far as education is concerned. Blogging has helped the puzzles of history, geography, geology, art, English literature and language, different cultures, music, film etc. gel in my brain, so that grey matter has some bright moments in it.

Blogging has a way of teaching us all sorts of things, doesn't it? What advice would you share with a newbie blogger? 

For any newbie blogger – join in with this group, and learn as you go – keep your mind open, make friends by adding to the comments and visiting regularly and often (to get established), settle on some form of theme for your blog – again keep it open-ended, so you can adjust your posting as you settle into blogging.  You will find blogs and people you relate to, that’s the best way of starting, and having that ‘stash’ of blog posts rarin’ to be posted.

I think the main thing is that blogging is a wonderful world to be a part of – and opens up lots of doors, so just enjoy yourselves.

Excellent advice! You have quite a following and get a lot of nice comments. Has any one comment ever stuck out in your mind? 

So many nice ones, but I do get quite a lot of these kinds of comments, "Honestly, I've learned more through your blog than I did in school." 

After following your blog for many years, I have to say that they are right. Your posts are engaging and I always learn something new. Thanks so much for joining us this week! 

Thank you for inviting me and for all your continued support and interest.

More About Hilary

A lover of life – who after London, spent time in South Africa; an administrator, sports lover, who enjoys cooking and entertaining...who through her mother’s illness found a new passion – writing, in particular blogging; which provides an opportunity for future exploration, by the daughter, who has (in her 3rd age years) found a love of historical education. Curiosity didn’t kill this cat – interaction is the key! 

Visit Hilary at her blog, Positive Letters Inspirational Stories 

In other news, I'm discussing Avoiding Blogger Burnout at the HHP blog. Hop over if you have a minute!

Do you have any questions for Hilary? Do you blog about your travels? What are you working on this week?

Happy writing,


Photo credit: Free Images hot chocolate


  1. Thanks for hosting Hilary, Karen! I've enjoyed learning more about her. I love visiting Hilary's blog...she has a lively and fun way of writing that draws readers in. She definitely makes history fun! And the photographs that illustrate her posts are, as you mentioned, lovely too.

  2. I've seen Hilary around on other blogs and it's great to get to know her better. I agree with her that newbie bloggers should visit and comment on other blogs often. And joining ISWG is a great way to connect with other writers.

  3. Hi Karen - thanks for having me over for your blogoversary .. it's wonderful celebrating so many years ... and to invite me here.

    You've been a great stalwart and supporter to me over the years ... it's great having friends around the blogosphere ...

    @ Elizabeth - thanks so much for coming over to comment .. and I so appreciate your thoughts - that shows you too learn about history. I like to add the photos in - makes the subject matter easier to understand - which you confirm.

    @ Natalie - I see you too ... and we catch up occasionally ... I agree the ISWG is a great way to connect with other writers ...I so far haven't joined, but am sure I will - though I follow along.

    PS - if anyone hasn't joined the A-Z April Challenge .. please come along ...

    Cheers Hilary

  4. It is always fun to read her blog, giving me a few ideas to use in mine. I have been all around her area and love the history and geological finds she shares. Want to see a nice meal? She has them all the time.

  5. Very insightful interview, Karen. Loved meeting Hilary. Thanks for introducing us to her. Susan

  6. Hilary certainly packs her posts with information. I'm sure she's learned a lot over the years - and we got to learn along with her!

  7. Blogging does open up doors.

    I think it's wonderful you're putting that series into book form.

  8. I found Hilary thru A-to-Z and am now a loyal fan. Thanks for posting her interview today. And you deserve a lovely dessert - I'm definitely a fan of her food pics.

  9. It's so nice to learn a little bit more about you, Hilary! And I so agree, blogging has inspired me in many ways. Here's to another A to Z Challenge!

  10. I love Hilary's blog. I so wish I could visit the places she describes so well and sample the food she shares with pictures and descriptions.

  11. Wonderful interview. Blogging has opened so many new worlds for me. And the community is so awesome! Hilary is one of those fantastic people I enjoy visiting. :)

  12. Hilary keeps me yearning for those places I've been or haven't been, but must visit--especially after reading one of her posts.

  13. @ Steve – thanks so much … and I’m fascinated you use my blog to stimulate you with ideas for your blog. It’s great to know you’ve travelled to some of the parts I mention. My meals – always seem to meet with approval!

    @ Susan – good to meet you and thanks for calling in … I’ll see you soon.

    @ Alex – you’re right I’ve learnt loads over the years and I’m just delighted many of you appreciate the snippets I offer.

    @ Diane – you’re right there .. blogging does open up doors. Thanks re the book series thought …

    @ Joanne – yes I’ve found quite a number of blogging friends via the A-Z .. it’s a great ‘hop’ to join in. Desserts seem to be winning order of the day don’t they …

    @ Bish – thanks so much … and doesn’t blogging offer us so many doors to new people, thoughts, ideas etc and yes – here’s to another A-Z Challenge …

    @ Susan – I do hope you’ll be able to get over sometime and see some of our small country with its massive history. More food I see!

    @ Christine – thanks so much for your comment … and blogging does lead us around the world, with different subjects …

    @ Lee – that’s great if it draws you over here to see some of these place … or a repeat visit to a place you love …

    Thanks again Karen – so good to see so many of you … cheers Hilary

  14. Thank you Karen. It is lovely to learn a little more about Hilary.
    I have been blown away by the warmth and the wonder of the blogosphere - something that Hilary exemplifies to perfection.

  15. My goodness, your blog sounds enchanting, Hilary. And aren't blogging friends the best! Thank you for introducing us, Karen. Have a good week - both of you.

  16. So nice to 'meet' you, Hilary, and thanks, Karen for hosting! You hooked me with your love of history, and zest for learning. Heading over to your blog now :-)

  17. So happy to see Hilary here! I always love visiting her blog and I have learned a ton from all of her posts. The pictures she includes and all of the history and interesting facts are such fun to explore. I had no idea how she got started on her blog, so I really loved this interview.

    Congrats on your blogoversary, Karen!

  18. Elizabeth,
    You are welcome! I agree, Hilary's blog is such a fun stop. So glad you stopped by! :)

    Hilary is such a blessing in the blogging world. And otherwise too! :) Appreciate you coming by!

    So glad we were able to make this happen! :) You have many faithful friends and fans! :)

    Out on the Prairie,
    She does have great ideas, and offers such wonderful commentary and personality too! :) Thanks for stopping! :)

    Happy to introduce you to Hilary. I had a feeling you would like her! :) Always good to see you! :)

    It's been fun riding along on her journey, hasn't it? I've learned so much too. Thanks for hopping over to see us!

    The blog world wouldn't be the same with Hilary, would it? I was glad to hear about the book too! :)

    It's good to meet you! Hilary's a treasure, isn't she? As for dessert, well, I am all in! Care to join me? :)

    Good to see you! :) Blogging is truly inspiring, especially if you follow Hilary's blog!

    Susan G.,
    I know - it's be great to go and see the same sights, wouldn't it? So glad she shares them with us! :) Appreciate you coming over!

    Blogging really does open up other worlds, I agree. And Hilary has made it that much nicer! Glad you enjoyed the interview. :)

    I know it! Me too! I think maybe we should get Hilary to have a giant field trip for bloggers. Wonder if we would all fit in her living room? :)

    You are welcome! So happy that you stopped by. :) I think you are right, Hilary does exemplify this. So glad to know her.

    Susan S.,
    I'm glad you got to meet Hilary! I thought you might like her. :) And I think you will enjoy her blog too. She's a lot of fun!

    Yes, you will love the history on Hilary's blog! Thanks, so glad you enjoyed the interview. :)

    I loved learning all these "Hilary" facts too! She is a wonderful guest and blogger.:) Thanks so much!

    Happy writing,

  19. Blogging has definitely opened up doors for me. I enjoy eclectic blogs. I'd like to expand the topics of my blog posts.

  20. @ EC – thank you so much .. I appreciate your visit and comment – that’s lovely.

    @ Susan – thanks for calling in to the blog … and I’ll be over to see you today! Yes blogging friends are amazing …

    @ Kenda – you too .. thanks for popping over and saying hi. I’m glad my love of history hooked you in and zest for life and learning … I’ll see you at your blog shortly – today even!

    @ Jess – good to see you here with Karen. I really appreciate your comment … and yes I think the pictures give us something extra to relate to re the history or story. It’s interesting how we all start off blogging isn’t it …

    @ Medeia – I’m amazed at what blogging can do for us … and the knowledge I glean from it … on all sorts of subjects …

    @ Karen – thanks so much for hosting me – it’s a pleasure being with you and your readers.

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful replies to your commenters …

    No – you wouldn’t all fit in my living room … some of you wold be in the English Channel with wet feet!!!! Not quite … but the image sounds good … and would be a good blogging advert!?!?

    Cheers to one and all … so lovely to see you – catch you shortly … Hilary

  21. Great interview, and thanks for introducing Hilary to us!

  22. Hilary is an amazing person. She's always positive and has a nice word to say just when you need it most.

  23. Lovely interview, ladies! And Happy Anniversary, Karen. Wishing you many more!

  24. Medeia,
    I had no idea that it would when I started blogging, did you? :) Simply amazing!

    You are most welcome to stop by again anytime! So we won't all fit in your living room, but maybe we could meet at a nearby park? We promise to be well behaved and bring snacks. :)

    Thank you, and you're welcome! Glad you met Hilary today. :)

    She really is, I agree! :) Even her closing, "cheers", just lets you know she wishes you well. That makes me smile.

    Thank you! Hilary made it easy. Appreciate your well wishes. Glad to have you celebrate with me! :)

    Happy writing,

  25. A lovely interview, ladies! It's nice to meet you, Karen, and a very happy blogoversary to you. That first picture looks like an Irish coffee... what a great way to celebrate!

    Everybody loves Hilary's blog. England has such a rich history, and she shares it with the rest of us so beautifully. We people with endless curiosities have got to stick together! (And blogging makes it oh-so easy. )

  26. @ Lisa – good to meet you here and thank you for commenting ..

    @ Murees – really appreciate your comment … it’s good to be positive isn’t it …

    @ Jennifer – thank you … and yes a blogging anniversary is pretty amazing … and I hope many more …

    @ Karen – thanks for having me over … well we could meet on the Promenade at the seafront – plenty of hotels around! I’m sure we could arrange a plentiful supply of snacks and ices … Eastbourne Tourism would love it …

    @ Susan – great you’ve popped over to meet up with Karen – she’s been a great friend over the years.

    Thank you so much Susan – I’m honoured … I just enjoy writing what I feel like, and what I’m fairly certain you’ll enjoy. I am curious .. that is a definite … blogging does make life easier to connect …

    Cheers and thanks so much everyone – who reads … and especially those who comment … Hilary

  27. Thanks for introducing me to Hilary, Karen. I've been changing things up with a new blog at Wordpress and feeling a bit overwhelmed. Connecting with other bloggers like yourself and now Hilary is inspiring. And off to read your links!

  28. Hi Hilary! I love you're posts, especially when pubs and food are mentions. Oh, and geology--oh and really old sites.

  29. I always enjoy your interviews, Karen. My gosh!! Hilary, 750 posts. More power to you, my dear. I think we learn something new every day. I love reading and discovering something I didn't know before. Thanks for sharing this with your readers, Karen and Hilary. I'll connect to your blog and social media as well, Hilary.

  30. I'm a bit of a history buff and I always learn something new at Hilary's blog. She's also really encouraging to others. Here's to another 750 posts!

  31. Susan,
    Thank you so much.It's great to meet you too! I agree, she does share it so beautifully. It's always a treat to visit. :)

    Sounds like a good plan! :) It would be fun if it could really happen.

    You are welcome. That overwhelmed feeling, yes, I can relate in other ways. (Haven't made the leap over to WordPress just yet, if I ever do!). It is such a blessing to know others in the blogging community! :)

    Her posts are a treat, aren't they? I often come away a bit hungry when she features food. :)

    Thank you, glad to hear it! A guest like Hilary makes it easy. :) I think you will enjoy visiting Hilary's blog!

    Yes, I always learn something new there as well! It's like opening a treasure box - you don't know what will be inside, but you know it will be good! :)

    Happy writing,

  32. @ Lynn - I hope you can get Wordpress sorted - it can be overwhelming ... I tried and failed to start mine - went to blogspot ... I hope you'll be inspired to stick with it - and we'll see you around.

    @ Holly - I see I tick most of your boxes ... food is always good!

    @ Victoria - thanks for coming over .. and I've connected up with you - sadly social media and I don't do too well for now ... but I'll get there ...

    @ Nick - you're supportive too .. so many thanks for always checking in and seeing what I'm doing ... and 750 more .. I guess it's very possible!

    @ Karen - thanks again for having me over ... yes the beach party would be interesting wouldn't it! Yes, you're right I often don't know what blog post will appear next ...

    Cheers to one and all - and thanks for your appreciative comments - Hilary

  33. Hi Hilary and Karen,

    Delightful interview! Your blog draws people from all walks of life with its wide variety of topics. I enjoy reading about local food and bits of history.

    I'll try to get over there more often now that you're fully back to blogging.

    Susan :)

  34. Hi Susan - it's good to see you here .. and thanks so much - I enjoy writing about food and history - as you know ... and just generally writing about what interests me - and then have posts appealing to whoever wishes to visit ..

    Cheers to you and to Karen - Hilary

  35. How fun to get to learn a bit more about Hilary! I loved the interview, and I love her blog. Happy 7 years to you, Karen!

  36. Hi Rosey - thanks for visiting us here ... and yes Karen's doing so well with her 7 years of blogging ... cheers Hilary

  37. Hilary,
    It's been a great treat having you visit this week! We'll have to do it again. :)

    It's good to meet you! It was fun getting to know Hilary better, wasn't it? Thanks for the good wishes, and for coming to see us! :)

    Happy weekend,

  38. Fascinating - Hilary runs a good blog! 750 posts - wow - a little daunting. And hello and happy anniversary to you!

  39. Hi Mike - thanks so much for coming over here ... Karen will be delighted to meet you - your posts are wonderful about Britain and things that are happening to us .. excellent photos too ... the Anniversary one is well worth looking at ... cheers to you both - Hilary

  40. Wow, Hilary is quite the blogger, isnt she? Thanks for the interview. She gave me an idea to put my A-Z series in a booklet :)

  41. I can't remember when I first discovered your blog, Hilary. I think it was through Carole Anne Carr, or Gary's blog, maybe. It's been years. I've learned so much from you. You are one of the rare gifts I've received since my blogging adventures began back in 2008. It flew by. Thanks, Karen, for honouring Hilary. Sorry I'm late.

  42. ACK! I missed this. So sorry. But last week we were down at the barn with our Cloud boy. :( Amigo, I love Hil. She has taught many a homeschool lesson here on the farm from her blog. :-) Her posts are never boring. She is such a delightful person and friend. And we all love her so. And we all love you too. (Especially me.) :-)

  43. Marja,
    I thought you might like meeting Hilary! :) So glad you could come by. As for the booklet for your series, that is a good idea!

    No apologies necessary! At all, ever. :) It's always good to see you. :) Hilary is one of our treasures, isn't she?

    No worries, amigo, you are here now! And you've had a lot going on lately, you know. So don't worry about it at all. :) I agree, Hilary is a delightful person. So glad we are all friends.

    Happy writing,

  44. Hello Karen. Hello Hilary.

    So lovely to see you here Hilary and learn a little about how things were in the past. South Africa! So exotic! So many of our blogging friends are from there!

    ! I'll never forget my delight when I discovered your blog when I was searching for some information on Google! I was so chuffed that I told everyone who would listen about you and they all love you too! I have learned so much from you. You are a blogging star in my universe! I've never known a blogger to be so friendly, selfless and clever. Hats off to you my friend!

    Denise :-)

  45. Hi Karen - you've some wonderful friends - who have made some brilliant comments for me - gosh I'm lucky to be amongst such wonderful bloggers.

    @ Marja - how lovely to meet you - and I'm glad I've helped you with a prod for the A-Z and for the booklet idea;

    @ Joylene - it's amazing how far back we go and how well we relate ... I have to say I can't remember how I met most friends ... but I think it was the A-Z that was the catalyst ...

    @ Robyn - so good to see you here - I've been meaning to email and check in. I'm always surprised how you can draft up home-school lessons from my blog: but I'm delighted it keeps you and the kids interested enough to learn something .. I'm honoured ...

    @ Denise - wonderful to see you too ... South Africa was wonderful and we do have lots of blogging friends who live there, or have visited ... it's a great place to write about.

    Found via Google - well that's a first ... and something I hadn't realised. I so appreciate this comment and your thoughts ... I shall be wrapped in warm thoughts all day!

    Big hugs to one and all - and thanks Karen so much for the interview ... and to all your commenters who've come by to visit ... cheers Hilary

  46. Denise,
    It's good to meet you! So glad you stopped by. What a lovely description of Hillary and her blog - I have to agree with you! :) She is a treasure for sure.

    It was a great pleasure to have you visit! We absolutely must do this again!:)

    Happy writing,

  47. It's such a pleasure to meet you Karen, and Hilary is just as described. It's the openness of her blog that helped influence my choice to be so. I feel blessed to be part of such a great community of writers. Congratulations, Hilary, 750 blogs is quite an achievement!

  48. Yolanda,
    It's a pleasure to meet you as well! Hilary is a treasure, a gem in the blogging world. :) I agree; It is a blessing to be a part of the this wonderful community. Appreciate you stopping by!
    Happy weekend,

  49. Hi Yolanda and Karen - thanks so so much ... it is 'a wonderful blogging world' .. cheers and hope you both had good Easters - Hilary


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