Swap-bot Time: September 23, 2018 10:41 pm


Date Joined: October 13, 2013
Last Online: March 13, 2017
Birthday: September 26
Country: United Kingdom

About Me

10 October 2016

House update -- We got the keys to the new house at the end of July and have had builders in ever since! We discovered rather more damp than we had realised was there, so currently there are people dealing with damp, and other people installing external insulation. The overgrown garden has been dealt with (we have 6 apple trees - hooray! -- and 2 hazelnuts and a pear tree -- I've never had an orchard before.) Fences have been built at the bottom of the garden and alongside the bit that didn't have a hedge on one side. The path down to the house is very steep, so we now have a wooden handrail along the driveway, another one along the steps going down to the house, and a concrete area at the top of the driveway behind the hedge so we can keep the wheelie dustbins there rather than dragging them up and down the hill every week. The solar panels are on the roof but are still waiting for a battery to be installed.
No idea when we might move in -- the date keeps getting further and further into the future! But it's wonderful to be getting the work done before we actually move in. I'm therefore back to swapping -- but might have to take another break when moving day begins to loom.

1 July 2016

My partner and I are buying a house -- completion date is at the end of July. Although we won't be moving absolutely immediately, we are busy trying to downsize -- the new place is a lot smaller than where we are now!

In September, I will be moving offices and buildings at work.

And ... I have a whole new set of responsibilities at work and three writing deadlines for the end of September.

All of that means that I'm going to be cutting way back on crafting, swapping and hosting over the next few months. I'm not stopping completely, but will need to be very careful what I take on.

4 September 2014

Hi Everyone!

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! It’s about 120 miles north of London.

I’m in my early sixties and share a house with my partner. We have six children between us – three home-grown ones and three adopted ones who joined the family as older children. We also have a seven-year old grandson.

I teach at a Quaker college – mostly history and English literature. My main history interests are seventeenth and eighteenth century (and the first couple of decades of the nineteenth century – up to 1830). Despite that, I’m leading a big project on ‘Quaker Aspects of World War I’, which is looking at some of the ‘alternative’ stories of World War I – the conscientious objectors, the ambulance drivers, the relief work during and after the war, etc. We’re going to be producing a major exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in 2015 which is tremendously exciting.

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 particularly interested in writing for children and am currently working on a picture book about a little girl who doesn’t want to go for a walk.

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’ve read a couple of vampire books recently but they didn’t really grab me and I don’t like horror.

Crime novelists I enjoy include Donna Leon, Ruth Dudley Edwards (Carnage on the Committee had me laughing out loud on the bus!), 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 tend towards the less violent crime novels, although I don't usually go for the ultra-cozy.

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 liked Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. I will always read something by Margaret Elphinstone. I like the Icelandic writer Halldór Laxness. I enjoyed Mary Ann Shaffer's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society. I think Pat Barker's WWI trilogy is excellent. I loved Christine Coleman's The Dangerous Sports Euthanasia Society.

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. Definitely ditto World War I which is gradually taking over my life, a situation which will only increase over the next couple of years. I would be very interested in reading books about World War I from the point of view of other European countries, but haven't yet found any in English translation -- do let me know if you know of any.

Looking at the non-fiction titles in the pile of books waiting to be read on my bedside table, they include Your Brain at Work by David Rock; Michaelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling by Ross King; Crisis? What Crisis? Britain in the 1970s by Alwyn Turner; We Walk Alone by Ann Aldrich; Macro Photography by Haje Kamps; Travel as a Political Act by Rick Steves; The Martian Child by David Gerrold; a book on making soap; and The Art of Creative Nonfiction by Lee Gutkind.

I often listen to audio-books, mostly crime fiction, on my way to and from work – it makes the bus ride more enjoyable!

Favorite Television

I hardly ever watch television. When I do, it tends to be game shows – I’m quite into ‘Bargain Hunt’ at the moment 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.). Sometimes I listen to Radio 2 (generally popular and easy listening music). I also like BBC World Service which gives me news from around the world. (I know that paragraph probably doesn’t make too much sense to anyone who’s not British – but it will do to any other UK swappers!)

Favorite Crafts

One of the great things about being involved with Swap-bot is that it has widened my crafting. I now make ATCs, do kirigami, and am really getting into making zines. I've started Zen tangling as well and am keen to improve at that. I've got back into cross-stitch and am hoping to start crocheting arigurami soon. I've just started making my first domino accordion book and find myself continually stimulated and inspired by the great art and craft work that goes on here. I still haven't tried soap-making ........

Being part of a Photography-based group has encouraged me to pick up my camera and I'm enjoying then using my photographs to create notecards. I want to start finding other creative ways to use the pictures as well.

Other things I like to do

I play ‘Serpentine’ online. It’s like Boggle. 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 live in a neighbourhood where lots of our neighbours are from India and Pakistan and it’s really easy to get all the spices and other ingredients in the local shops. 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.

I’ve recently got involved in a couple of online microfinance sites – www.lendwithcare.org and www.deki.org.uk. Both of them enable me to make small loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries – when the money gets paid back, I lend it again! I really like the personal nature of being able to choose who to lend to and it makes me feel connected to what happens in other countries.


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 bath or 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 – there was a bottle of witch hazel sitting on the table and I ended up as hazelwitch! I’ve generally kept the name for online things that I do.

I’m really looking forward to swapping with all of you!

Just to help me keep track:

Waiting for ratings or comments:

@Created46 for Reuse that Toilet Roll! Sent 16 February.

Watching my postbox for:


Toy journal to thaskett

Angel mystery swap to GiddyAnni

Hunger Games RAK

Angel package to SilverD

Resend to mamavan



1 - Postcard of Gas St basin, sent 2 January. 2- Sandburg and Coffee zine, sent 3 January 3 - Vintage typewriter manual, sent 9 January 4 - Notecard and 5 teabags, sent 13 January 5 - Notecard and recipe magazine, sent 19 January 6 - PC showing vintage penguin stamp, sent 26 January 7 - 2 1/2 page letter in handmade envelope, sent 28 January

MARCH MINI-ZINE - Carl Sandburg APRIL MINI-ZINE - Wind MAY MINI-ZINE - Fairy Tales on Stamps MLFT ZINE #1 - Aesops Fables BC: Fairy Tale Zine - Fairy Tales on Stamps


xxladybugxx, A Themed Christmas - awesomely angelled by Kiddo47!

akane, First Multiview 1 Person per Country Postcard Swap - angelled by flowerchild - thank you!

FreakyToast -- agreed to swap my journal back in exchange for English books -- never acknowledged books, never sent journal back

lilianmarie, Crocheted flower tag

Allison8236, Amazing Art WTA - said she sent but never received, didn't offer to resend

Ingleside. Argentine children's book.

Selfieempress. Lyrix Book Round 2.

Kuilo - Themed Christmas Swap - Hot. Kindly and wonderfully angeled by @devilspigeonhole -- thank you!

amanda0413 - Edible swappers WTA 61. Never arrived. Said she was resending but nothing came.

bizzitybam - NH Wild Animal postcard - angeled by flowerchild

miyuiki00 - Private pocket letter swap. nevermore offered to angel -- but nothing was ever received, despite chasing. Wonderfully angelled by angeliclizard, August 2016.

violettedream - public forum tag - wonderfully angelled by bblue!


ancalime for Christmas Carol CD

aiyamnenzki29 for Map Your Reading 1st Quarter

melannf75 for Songs Beginning with C playlist.

Arianne86 for W postcard (but did PM)

lovelylici for March Minizine

Scottishrosefaerie for March WTA TNW Group (eventually PM'd after chasing)

kimphilipsvanburen, for Angel zines for BC Fairy and Folk Tale zines. Sent 17 July.

miyuiki00 for DoFlamingo One Piece Pocket Letter.

RooBaRoo for Desert postcard. Sent 28 August.

PrincessKristin for June mini-zine angel. Sent 14 September.

kankalin for Rebus Art ATC. Sent 18 September. Chased 20 October.

Juliette for angel package. Sent 30 October

librarianbelle for NH Handmade envelopes. Sent 15 January.

CraftyCari for Sound ATC. Sent 15 February.

pandorasbox for Passport Playlist. Sent 24 March.

maryghek for Passport Playlist Sent 24 March.

Pandorasxbox for angel postcard. Sent 30 March

Aquiller for What I'm Reading NH PC. Sent 2 June.

nauchstage for ISS food scavenger hunt. Sent 24 June.

dada for Sea Life PC

@karry for Bird Envelope. Sent 25 November.

@missir for Flower Envelope. Sent 25 November.



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! ^_^
Mark63 rated for Science Fiction PC Swap on Nov 28, 2016
Comment: IT ARRIVED !!!!........Today! Thanks for an interesting PC, & for checking my profile. Regards Mark
Response: I'm so glad it arrived! I obviously forgot the time involved in transporting a postcard through interspace transfer ...... :-)
simcoe54 rated for PTG: Animal Scavenger Hunt #8 on Nov 26, 2016
Comment: Thanks for all the great animal pcs as well as the extra used cards. Glad you could join this swap.
Tina78 rated for Christmas swap on Nov 25, 2016
Comment: Thank you very much !@!!!!!!!
Mamavan rated for NH: 30 Sticker Scavenger Hunt on Nov 24, 2016
Comment: Hi Betty! It has arrived! Thank you so much for the resend and al of the lovely stickers, I love the mermaids stickers so adorable.
Xira rated for IS: Filled PC swap INT on Nov 19, 2016
Comment: Thank you! Such an amazing filled postcard!!! I love everything about it; your picture, your writing, the Alice-card, the golden fairy and the zine you created about fairytale stamps. A big fat heart for you ❤️❤️❤️ Best wishes! groetjes Barbara
Tina78 rated for E1ESA - 5 flat items on Nov 18, 2016
Comment: Thanks a lot@@
mb58ca rated for Maps - Two New, One Used #1 on Nov 15, 2016
Comment: Love these postcards, and you're right. The notecard really worked with these! Thanks for choosing them. And, enjoy the magazine. Maybe I'll see your name in the contributor list...
Comment: I like the sensory book and rattles idea! Thinking that I could make one for home ;). Thanks for a great swap.
Mark63 rated for ART PC #42 ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENT on Nov 2, 2016
Comment: Thank you for the interesting PC.
ScrappyLisa rated for DAD: Winter Wishes card on Nov 2, 2016
Comment: Lovely card! And now I am singing that song from the Nutcracker in my head! A great way to start my November.
Artsynerdgirl rated for B is for.......... on Oct 29, 2016
Comment: You made me hungry for some bacon breakfast! and curious about "brown". lol

Rating Overview

Overall Hearts Stars Hosted
5.0000 545 118 129
Completed Fives Threes Ones
558 643 0 0
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Uncategorized
25 178 355 0
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Currently In

  • the user is not currently in any swaps :(

Currently Hosting

  • the user is not hosting any current swaps


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! :)

VivaLaDiane on May 3, 2016:

I love the beautiful PCs you sent as a RAK. You are so very sweet Betty and I appreciate your kindness!! xoxo♥

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