Category: Memories

Hot Chocolate – Be Still My Beating Heart!

Hot Chocolate – Be Still My Beating Heart!

Strange as it may seem to all chocolate lovers out there…..not everyone loves chocolate!  Let me reassure you, I’m definitely a chocolate lover.

This post was originally published on 20/3/2011 and updated on 14.08.2023

Here are five fun facts about this beautiful confection.

Chocolate and Mood: Chocolate contains compounds such as phenylethylamine and anandamide, which are associated with feelings of pleasure and happiness. This could partly explain why many people consider chocolate a comfort food.

Health Benefits: Dark chocolate, in moderation, has been associated with potential health benefits due to its antioxidant content. It may have positive effects on heart health and even cognitive function. I’ll take that!

Chocolate Sculptures: Skilled chocolatiers create intricate sculptures entirely from chocolate. These sculptures can range from detailed replicas of famous landmarks to life-sized statues.

Chocolate Spa Treatments: Some luxury spas offer chocolate-themed treatments, such as chocolate body wraps, facials, and even chocolate-infused baths, claiming to rejuvenate the skin and provide relaxation.

But the one I like the most …

is that chocolate syrup was used in that famous shower scene in the epic Alfred Hitchcock movie “Psycho”  and what was it used for?  The blood.



Somehow, that scene is never going to be quite the same – I get the picture of Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins saying to  Hitchcock, “Can we just try that scene again ….. the prop has been eaten!”


I’ll leave you with this quote from the beautiful Katherine Hepburn “What you see before you, my friend is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.”  – I’m with her!!!







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Never Give Up

Never Give Up

How often have you heard the saying “never give up”? But isn’t there a time when one should rather say “change direction”?

There’s a dream I’ve had for many, many years, and that is to have an online business. The reason? So I’m not stuck in one place. It would mean I could travel around. So this is my story and why, rather than “never give up” I’ve chosen to “change direction.”

Sure, travel is a bit stunted right now, but I do see a day when I’ll be able to head back overseas to hang out with my girls and grandies. And wouldn’t it be just fab to be able to take my work with me? That’s always been the plan.

I’m not sure when I started my first online business, I think it was around the mid 2000’s, but I remember that website building was extremely clunky, nothing like the beautiful sleek sites we have today.

To let you in on a little secret, here’s one of my very first websites. www.paintingwithpastels. It’s a rather large site and, of course, doesn’t have the ability to be mobile responsive. (We didn’t have smartphones back then). The program I built this one is now completely obsolete, although I still do have it on an old computer.

It’s on the ‘to do’ list to bring it up into the modern age, BUT it’s a marathon job, and I’m not sure if I have the patience. Mmmm, maybe I should as it still does work and I still sell the occasional item. Oh, and if you did go through and take a peek, you’ll see it’s under a different name – that’s what we were taught back in the day. But you will see some of my paintings there which can be corroborated by friends who know they still hang in my home.

Over Coffee (this blog) isn’t designed as a money-making site (although if you want, you can always click through any ad that’s showing at the bottom, don’t have to buy – just clicking gives me a couple of cents).

Getting back to the heading – never give up, which the cartoon below has sat on my desktop for YEARS!!

never give up


Confession Time

I have given up.

Not on the dream, but more on the product that I’ve offered. I’m not sure why perhaps not passionate enough about the subject, or could see that it wasn’t working. And that’s where the “change direction” comes from.

Hence I made a new cartoon.

different path

My online business has morphed from website building in the early days which flopped completely – hey, we didn’t have social media, and I was competing with the ‘big boys’ who had money to advertise. I built my sites of which some are still active and bring in a few pennies each month without me doing anything. I wrote books and still sell them on Amazon, again, not a huge moneymaker. Ghostwriting was good – I’ve had a few clients with that, but – it still ties me to here, so it’s not conducive to the dream, and I don’t do it anymore.

I tried my hand at virtual coaching (for people going vegan/plant-based). Even paid big bucks for a business mentor, to no avail. Spent about 18 months and many dollars with absolutely zero takers on that idea. The money ran out and so did the will to do it. But there are always ups to any downs and I created the resource website Gold Card Vegan which, although doesn’t earn me anything, I’m proud of as it offers great information.

At the beginning of the latest round of lockdowns, a friend suggested that I build websites for small businesses. In her business, she is constantly coming across people who don’t have a website. Here’s an unashamed plug for her:

Voila, a gap she could see me filling.

Geez, I’m 70 next year – BUT it’s never too late to try again 🤪 and reboot that dream

Fee O'Shea

You see, building websites, doing graphic designs, writing content for social media, blogs, and newsletters are all fun things for me….. can’t you tell? Look at the graphics so far on here – SUCH FUN!

So at the start of lockdown (round 2), I morphed my White Rockit website into a simple, modern, snazzy wee business website telling you what I can offer.

Now comes the marketing of the said business. This time I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve.

  • I know where the best place is to be seen (for free).
  • I have my Pipi friend in my corner cheering me on.
  • I love doing this shit!

Not about to give up on my dream just yet. It’s been there for such a long time, moving and morphing, poking at me to keep going, and it’s so close I can almost touch it. I’m not going to give up my day job, but we’ll give this one a crack and see.

Damn it!!! I can make this happen.

fee figures

ps: That ad is coming up …








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The Wellington Experience

The Wellington Experience

The last time I was in the windy city (Wellington) was seven years ago. Not a lot has changed, only this time the weather was balmy and calm.

Flying in on a Friday and flying out the following Monday, I certainly jammed a load of stuff into the three days in the city.

Don’t worry; I’m not about to give you a travel log description of what I did, that would be as boring for you as the neighbour’s slide show from their campervan trip through the Australia outback.


But what I will say is that you can make it fun anywhere you go if you just keep your eyes open for the odd, the curious, the beautiful and the downright emotional.


However, I will give a plug to the WW1 exhibition.

Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War” at Te Papa. 

I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so moved by a museum display as I was with this one. In my mind, Peter Jackson nailed it. Informative and brutal, sad and a little humorous, it told the story of Gallipoli from the soldiers and nurses who were there. The models were massive at around 2.5 times human size, and each one depicted a frozen moment in time. The walk through a trench briefly captured the horror of war. If you are ever in Wellington, I highly recommend this.


My son took me to the ballet, Giselle, which we both enjoyed and to the art gallery for the weirdest exhibit called “Creature” by Berlin-based artist Marianna Simnett. Four short films, quite an unusual visual effect from four different screens. I must admit, though, that I couldn’t watch all of it; bit weirdly gruesome for me. To give you a clue – one was about mastitis… I really didn’t need to see the pus oozing from the teat! Made me grateful to be vegan!

From the games of chess, listening to Sam and James (from Black Spider Trio), playing gypsy jazz in the cutest Italian restaurant, exploring the city, walking the beaches and eating great food, all up, it was an excellent adventure.

Enjoy the Wellington Gallery!  Click on an image to enlarge the gallery.


fee figures

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The Little Triggers

The Little Triggers

Every so often, things happen in life that become little triggers for memories.

The older I get, the more those little triggers fire up a memory. The trouble is, often, the memory is not in full coloured detail. More likely, it’s a fleeting “oh, yeah, I remember…. Um… how did that go again?” type of picture. Other times a little trigger can transport me back to a place, and I experience a full re-enactment of a long-ago time.

Of the five senses we possess, it appears that smell is the most dramatic.

A smell can trigger all sorts of recollections and recapture moments in vivid detail.

To give you an example.

There is a particular supermarket here in Tauranga. It’s not one that I regularly frequent as it is some distance away. But on the odd occasion that I do, as soon as I walk in, I am immediately transported to a specific supermarket in Arcata, California. I would go there with my daughter whenever I visited her. Sometimes even going on my own driving her American ‘truck’ with its column change and steering wheel on the wrong side – my adventure!

But why does this one N.Z. supermarket remind me of the one in Arcata and not other markets? It’s definitely the smell that is exactly the same the moment I step inside. I believe it could be how both of them are laid out. The N.Z. one has a café with the coffee smell to the right, the produce to the left, and that includes the bakery. The Arcata one is laid out slightly differently, but the combination of the smell of the coffee, the bakery and the produce is the same and this is the trigger.

So on the odd time when I am missing my daughter, especially during this last year when neither one of us can visit, I go over to the city and saunter into this supermarket. I close my eyes, and I’m right there with her.

And just so you know it’s not only me. Her father has the exact same reaction.

little triggers








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The Kiwi Icon The Batch

The Kiwi Icon The Batch

I’m sure that most of the kiwis reading this fondly remember the batch

And for my other readers who are not kiwis, the definition of The Batch is really a knocked up shed on steroids. The batch was a summer holiday home and basically made from recycled whatever the dad and his mates could get their hands on.

Our batch had been an army hut before it was hauled off to a piece of sand at the beautiful beach, Whangamata. The wooden, recycled, french doors opened up to a sea view and us running off over the sand dunes to the sea.

Now, that batch has gone – there are two holidays homes on that one piece of land, the outside dunny (toilet) has been replaced with sewage and there is now a road with houses on either side where we would run to get to the sea.

Last weekend Jess (my fellow SAFE cor-ordinator) and I had a meeting at a cafe in Papamoa – a beachy part of Tauranga that is becoming the “place to be”. After our coffee and cake (lovely vegan cake mmmmmmm), we went for a drive to have a look at the new developments that have sprung up.

Some of the old places are still there and, obviously, being used in a variety of ways as you can see by the close up below.

zoom in

But what made us the happiest was seeing some of the original batches are still there. I only managed to grab a couple of photos – Nostalgia reigns!

This one is three stories and is very typical of the “let’s go up one more” mentality of the time …. no building consent needed!


There were quite a few of this style at many beaches, although how it gets on when it rains with the flat roof and no eves ???? just lots of buckets I guess.


And just in case you can’t remember what the Kiwi Icon is called …


Although this next one isn’t a “batch”, both Jess and I wondered what on earth the bits of timber were for …..  Please comment if you’ve got any idea.


What we found intriguing about the old batches (and there were lots more), they are all in prime position – a spit of a walk to the beach. And all the flash homes – well, they’re in the “suburbia” area and have to drive.  It’s wonderful to see, although how long it will last is anyone’s guess!






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About Me

About Me

Thanks for dropping by, my name is Fee O’Shea. I’m a mother and grandma, an author and an Improver. I’ve got a resource website to help peeps go plant-based, I’ve scribbled six books centred around veganism, and have helped others write and publish their own stories.
But this blog is for my thoughts, my rants, raves, reviews and things that have grabbed my attention. From politics to social media to beauty, health and the environment. Fee’s Ramblings Over Coffee is written to bring you a smile or get you thinking. Enjoy.



Don't be shy, please contact me if you have any questions or what you'd like me to write about.

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