Swap-bot Time: December 14, 2018 10:50 pm


Date Joined: October 13, 2013
Last Online: December 14, 2018
Birthday: September 26
Country: United Kingdom

About Me

9 September 2018

Hi Everyone!

I'm back after just over a year's break from Swap-bot and ready to start crafting and swapping again. It will be good to reconnect with old friends and to make some new ones.

My name is Betty and I live in Birmingham, England. Birmingham is right in the middle of the country about as far from the sea as you can get, around 120 miles north of London.

I'm in my late sixties and live with my (female) partner. We got married in July of this year after being together for 21 years. We have six children between us, three home-grown ones and three adopted ones who joined the family as older children. We also have an eleven year old grandson who started secondary school this month.

I'm the librarian at a local Quaker college. I also teach there -- mostly literature and history. My main history interests are seventeenth and eighteenth century (and the first couple of decades of the nineteenth century up to 1830).

I also write. I've published one academic book about women's travel writing (and lots of articles), and two general books, one about great explorers and the other an atlas of exploration. I'm currently editing the memoirs of a late 18th century authr. I'm also interested in writing for children, although that tends to slip down my to-do list when things get busy. Maybe one of these days ....

Favorite Books

I read a lot. My tastes are pretty broad. I like general novels, poetry, history, crime fiction, science fiction and a whole variety of non-fiction.

I don't like horror and I like my crime fiction on the cosy end.

Crime novelists I enjoy include Donna Leon, Anne Perry, Molly MacRae, Kerry Greenwood, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Peter Tremayne, Sara Paretsky, Val MacDermid, Katherine Forrest, Majorie Allingham, Laurie R. King (particularly the Mary Russell books) and Carola Dunn. I reread Dorothy L. Sayers at intervals. I used to like Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh, but I don't think they've stood the test of time as well as Allingham and Sayers.

I used to read a lot of science fiction but read it only occasionally now. Suzette Haden Elgin's books stand out in my memory. I am a great fan of anything by Octavia L. Butler. I recently read and re-enjoyed Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. I may decide to do a re-read of Bradbury generally. Zenna Henderson's books were tremendously important to me when I was younger.

I like 18th and 19th century fiction. I re-read Jane Austen at intervals; ditto Dickens; ditto Susan Ferrier, Amelia Opie, and Walter Scott. I love Dorothy Wordsworth's travel writing -- I'm less fond of her diaries but they are nonetheless worth a read. I re-read Susan Glaspell's A Jury of Her Peers about once a year and am a great fan of Mary Wilkins Freeman and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Other books I return to at intervals include Breakfast at Tiffany's, I Capture the Castle, Cold Comfort Farm, A Bullet in the Ballet, Jackie Kay's Adoption Papers and Neil Gaiman's short story Chivalry. I like some but not all Gaiman; I like some but not all Terry Pratchett (mostly Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men).

More general novels? I've just enjoyed Anne Tyler's Vinegar Girl (a rewriting of Taming of the Shrew). I liked Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. I will always read something by Margaret Elphinstone or Sara Maitland. I like the Icelandic writer Halldar Laxness. I loved Christine Coleman's The Dangerous Sports Euthanasia Society. I recently read The Restoration of Oscar Laird which I found thought-provoking.

Quite a lot of the time I read non-fiction. I'm an inveterate reader of cookbooks and cookery magazines. I read walks books and craft books. I read a lot of literary criticism but that's poised somewhere between leisure and work. Ditto 17th century Quaker texts.

Looking at the non-fiction titles in the pile of books waiting to be read on my bedside table, they include The Natural World of Needle Felting, Cold Brew Coffee: Techniques and Recipes, Younger Next Year for Women, Macro Photography, Telling True Stories, Creating a Wildlife Garden, Covenant and Conversation: a weekly reading of the Jewish Bible, Fun and Games for the 21st century, and Get Started in Italian!

I often listen to audio-books, mostly crime fiction.

Favorite Television

I hardly ever watch television. When I do, it tends to be game shows or documentaries or nature programmes.

I do however listen to a lot of radio. mostly BBC Radio 4 (which is mostly speech programmes, news, dramas, documentaries, etc.) or 4 Extra. Sometimes I listen to Radio 2 (generally popular and easy listening music). I also like BBC World Service which gives me a much more global perspective on world news.

Favorite Crafts

One of the great things about my time on Swap-bot is the way it widened my crafting. I now make ATCs, do kirigami, make zines, Zen tangle, crochet and knit. I also like making handmade postcards and decorated envelopes. Being part of a Digital Art Group made me work harder at that medium and I've also got increasingly into photography. I've received some wonderful items from other swappers and they've stimulated and inspired me to develop my own skills.

Other things I like to do

I play Serpentine online and Scrabble. I really like board games of all sorts and card games, but as my partner doesn't, I don't often have anyone to play with, unless my son who's into games happens to be around. (He lives in Yorkshire so I only see him every couple of months.)

I love cooking and like trying out new recipes. I cook things from all round the world, but Indian is probably the one I do most of. We used to live in a predominantly Pakistani neighbourhood where it was really easy to get all the spices and other ingredients in the local shops. We've now moved to be nearer my work, and I really miss the shops I used to have. I have lots of cookbooks – we keep running out of bookshelf space for them!

I also really like eating out and trying new restaurants.

We do quite a lot of country walking. I also like visiting museums.

We feed the birds in the garden and have seen over 30 species over the last year. We don't watch breakfast TV -- we sit by the patio doors and watch the birds instead!


When it comes to postcards, I particularly like maps, holidays, fairy tales, myths and legends, greeting postcards, foods and cooking, book or library themed, vintage, museums, trees, birds, insects, poems, science, sports and games -- but I'm open to surprises!

Things I Collect

Old children's books (published pre-1970) in any language and from any country

Cookbooks and recipes

Vintage postcards and greetings cards

Little Golden Books

Nativity sets

Contemporary children's picture books from around the world and in any language

I Like


Food from around the world

American candy, particularly Sweet Tarts, Chuckles, Necco Wafers, Good and Plenty, Cookie Dough Bites and Red Hots

Christmas carols

Music - folk, country, classical in particular. Not a heavy metal or punk fan.

Vintage postcards and greetings cards

Postcards with nice pictures on

Postcards from museums


Wild animals

Socks, particularly with pictures on or nice colours (I wear size 8 UK, 9 USA. According to Google, that's 38 in Spain and Italy and 40 in other EU countries)

Things that people have made and put time and thought into



Crime fiction from around the world


Nice things for the shower

Old microscope slides

18th and 19th century magazines

Gloves and mittens

Silicone molds


Spices and herbs




Anything to do with the ocean (pictures, sand, boats, etc.)

Pictures of snow scenes

Women's magazines, craft magazines, cooking magazines, photography magazines (but not celebrity magazines)

Learning about other people, their culture and how they live

Board and card games

I Don't Like/Don't Want

Nail polish

Make up

Lip balm

Disney things


Hello Kitty items


My Swap-Bot User Name

A number of years ago, I needed a user name for an online game I was playing and there was a bottle of witch hazel sitting on the table. I ended up as hazelwitch! I've generally kept the name for online things that I do.

It's good to be back.

Just to help me keep track:

Waiting for ratings or comments:

Collaboration PC 63 - sent to BeckyG56 on 8 December

Children's Book Illustration PC - sent to Ksena on 8 December

Ephemera from Your Geographical Area - sent to onibah3 on 11 December

Watching my postbox for:

Collaboration PC 63 from elflady

Ephemera from your geographical area from BabyBee78

To Send

Wish to ladyaries7


Comment: Thank you for the beautiful & enlightening PC of the Detmolds' Crested Crane. I'd love to come across a copy of their bird book! Now I realize that as a child I enjoyed their illustrations for Kipling's Jungle Book in a copy my grandmother gave me.
wolfeagle rated for All Squared Up on Dec 2, 2018
Comment: Love this postcard. Thank you so much.
Comment: Awww! It's so sweet! The song as well as the Postcard! I really loved it :)
mgallardo68 rated for FS: Flat stocking stuffer on Nov 16, 2018
Comment: Thank you so much Betty, I will expand my rate later in December ;-) but I loved the real stamps you used and the message on your card was a perfect message from the Universe for a bad day: 'The best is yet to come'! Hugs! ♥♥
luckycharms rated for FS: Flat stocking stuffer on Nov 15, 2018
Comment: Thank you very much for the stocking stuffer!, I received the envelope in a body bag from the PO, It was ripped in half and part of envelope in missing!, I hope they didn't lose anything :( Merry Christmas to you and your love ones!!!...11/17/18-- No need to resend, I received a gold wrapped gift, :).. I just didn't want to not thank you for a card or something. Merry Christmas!!!!
Response: I'm so sorry the post office ate your envelope! Do let me know what you received, in case anything went missing, so I can send again if necessary.
piratecaptainmo rated for NH: Flat Stocking Stuffer on Nov 6, 2018
Comment: Thank you! I'll update my rating when I unwrap your gift at Christmas :)
knitterofhats rated for FS: Flat stocking stuffer on Nov 6, 2018
Comment: Thanks! Received today. Will hold to open.
mamajoy rated for ACTION! on Nov 5, 2018
Comment: Betty - Many hearts for the great selection of cards. I am totally in love with the skating of Torvill and Dean. Weren't they wonderful? I love the map card, too. Thank you for a great note explaining each one. Hugs, Joy
HannahF rated for NH: Flat Stocking Stuffer on Nov 1, 2018
Comment: I can't wait to see what's inside! :)
EmilyT rated for PTG: Scavenger Hunt #44 on Oct 31, 2018
Comment: Thank you for the great selection of postcards! The map is a new one for me and the bonus ad is super cool! Love the others, too!
Comment: Love them all!
ccap rated for IPS - Profile-Based Package Swap # 12 on Mar 16, 2017
Comment: Thanks so much for the GREAT package. Wow. What a collection of wonderful stuff. Thanks.
gadasinialdigim rated for Happy Mail, Yay! #10 on Feb 2, 2017
Comment: Betttyyy i really got your mail :)) hahah this time it took the way to mee and not back to you - this was the first thing that made me happy :))) i will preapare your tea and enjoy looking one more time on the photos and washis and all beatiful things you send to mee :)) thank youu🎈🎈
smadronia rated for It's a FOPS Christmas on Jan 3, 2017
Comment: Those are the coolest postcards ever, thank you! Sorry for the late rate
karry rated for Bird Mail Art & Goodies Swap #2 on Dec 28, 2016
Comment: Thank you so much for the beautiful envelope and package! Those "Seasons Greetings" cards are gorgeous!
flowerchild rated for It's a FOPS Christmas on Dec 26, 2016
Comment: Santa's elves made it on time!!! This was in the Christmas Eve mail:) Thank you for the yummy teas. Best wishes for happy swapping in 2017!
Comment: Oh, your chain is so elegant! My daughter wanted a "normal" tree this year, so she declared that only red, green, and white ornaments would be allowed on the Norfolk Island "pine" tree in the main room of the house ... needless to say, the gorgeously red, white and green decoration, so neatly knitted, was perfect! (In rebellion, the remaining family members have created a unicorn, dragon, dinosaur and sparkly rainbow pastel tree in the opposite window of the room, but that's another matter :)
Comment: Hi Betty - always great to be your partner! Love the ATC - and thanks for the extras!! Happy Holidays xx
Comment: One eye DID fall off, but it was safe. Thanks for hosting an interesting swap :)
Comment: Thank you for sharing image of whales pretty in colors. Cheers to swapping! ^_^

Rating Overview

Overall Hearts Stars Hosted
5.0000 554 118 129
Completed Fives Threes Ones
569 654 0 0
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Uncategorized
25 183 361 0
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Currently Hosting

  • the user is not hosting any current swaps


CurlyTea on Sep 26, 2018:

Happy Birthday!

flowerfield on Sep 26, 2016:

Hi! I noticed you are my partner in a current swap and I wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday today! Enjoy yourself! :)

phillaine on Sep 22, 2016:

Happy Autumn! ♥

owlsinathens on Jun 28, 2016:

PS!!! Thank you also for the wonderful stamps you enclosed! I didn't see them at first, only now did I find them :D

So gorgeous^^

Artsynerdgirl on Jun 22, 2016:

Got my feather! I'll get to work now. :)

phillaine on May 25, 2016:

to a whole new year of Profile-Based Swaps!

CajunLady on May 24, 2016:

Thank you for the Christmas pattern book for the Hell's Grannies RAK!

VivaLaDiane on May 23, 2016:

Betty, I can't thank you enough for hosting swaps in Newbie Helpers. It means a lot and while I don't get the opportunity to always say it, I appreciate you so very much. Much love always. xoxo♥

ChelseaDagger on May 9, 2016:

I received the wonderful postcards today! Thank you very much, they are fantastic!!

Take care, Julie

bluemonkeymama on May 3, 2016:

Thank you SO much for the awesome vintage postcards. I absolutely love them! I hope you have a great day! :)

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