Yesterday I just snuck in before the Oscar ceremony with my acceptance of and nominations for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Hot on the heels of that award last year, I was also nominated a second time for a Liebster Award. Now I don’t consider myself a greedy girl but I do like to engage with these awards because I believe I can help others in so doing. So I graciously accepted it and three months later here I go with my little ceremony. Less glitz than Beverly Hills but nonetheless a huge tantarra, and a huge boost for a newcomer to the heady world of blogging. At this point, I would like Julie Andrews to step onto the stage and sing the song I used to threaten my daughters with when they were dragging their heels on the walk to school. ‘The Hills Are Alive’ sung slightly too high and certainly too loud more in the style of Gracie Fields than Maria had them trotting along begging for mercy EVERY time – but absent Ms A’s beauteous presence you will just have to make do with me and I promise, no song.
Just the place to sing The Hills Are Alive – plateau de l’Artense in the Belledonne above Grenoble
The Liebster is an award for newcomers. There is a criteria for followers but to be frank I ignore it partly because of my innate maverick tendencies and partly because on many sites the blogger doesn’t display a counter for number of followers. So I am going my own sweet way and nominating blogs that I like irrespective of their pulling power. Gill who writes Blog sur Aude nominated me and I do urge you to take a look at her blog. It follows the trials, tribulations, triumphs and frustrations of renovating a village house in Southern France. Fortunately, though not a professional, she is passionate and clearly talented with interiors. This, though, does not render her immune from the inevitable difficulties attached to working in a different country, much of the time remotely. I’m a sucker for pretty things and I enjoy reading about her journey probably more than she enjoys being at the effect of the deep desire to just get her place finished! So thank you Gill – I am very touched that you thought me good enough.
Here are the rules of engagement:
- Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog to your post
- Answer 11 questions they have asked you
- Nominate 11 bloggers who have 200 followers or fewer for the award
- Ask 11 questions of those bloggers
- Let your nominees know you nominated them
- Add the Liebster Award logo to your blog
And here is the pretty award which this time I will add to my blog along with the other award … I shall have to ask for help from Two Brains though because it’s all a bit beyond me when they start talking about code and widgets!
Gill asked me these questions and I have genuinely enjoyed thinking about my answers (for 3 months …)
1. What is the best thing about blogging, for you?
It’s slowly slowly ever so slowly increasing my self-confidence. This in turn has made my husband happy … he is my biggest advocate and support and is quite determined that I am smart and talented. I may not be either of those things but I do now understand that out there are some people who I please with my words.
2. Do you ever read your old posts and cringe? (no, that’s just me then..)
Not really – sorry but to be fair I very seldom re-read any of them
3. If money was no object, where would you live and why?
Right here. In my coin perdu. Because it is beautiful, because the people have just accepted the oversized English woman with the French of a Spanish Cow into their fold with no questions asked but mostly because for the first time since I left the house I grew up in, I am home and I can put down roots
4. What book can you read over and over again and still love it?
Apart from any one of my far too large collection of cookery books (my children cruelly took 9 boxes full to a charity shop 5 years ago leaving me with less than 100 but I am slowly replacing every one of my lost boys ….) there are so many – I love poetry and often read it out loud to anyone prepared to listen or just to myself … Yeats, Neruda – far too many to mention. I love to read Shakespeare and then there are lists and lists and lists of books I have read and re-read. The Master and Margarita stuns me every time. Oh, and Winnie The Pooh …. which I still think is one of the greatest masterpieces of 20th Century literature.
5. What was the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? and
Just do it … my boss and mentor when I was a wet-behind-the-ears trainee in the industry that brings us the Oscars, whenever I was looking for affirmation would simply say ‘Just do it’ A few years later, Nike stole his strapline …
6. Did you follow it?
Yes – and I fell on my face and I got bruises and lesions but I have never regretted a single time that I followed those words
7. What was your favourite lesson at school
I loved learning and of course I preferred the things that came easily – which was most things except Maths. I was good at that too until they brought letters into the game … algebra and I were not friends and have continued to ignore one another quite happily ever since
8. Who is your best friend?
My husband – he of the Two Brains. And The Bean.
9. What is the best gift you ever received?
Self confidence. It’s a work in progress.
10. Coast or Country?
The country so long as I am close to water
11. Now or later?
Now – preferably sooner which may seem odd given that it has taken me 3 months to address this … but I can honestly say when things are not done they niggle me to the core
Now for the best bit … 11 nominations – passing the love to:
1. The Worlds Biggest Fridge Magnet – Cameron is in his own words ‘a fatty’ and he is about to have surgery which will change his life. Funny, touching, informative, sometimes uncomfortable but hugely readable personal take on what is one of the biggest epidemics in the western world – obesity
2. Storing Hope – Wilson Agaba believes that love is the answer. His blog is full of lovely stories that prove his point
3. It’s a Wonderful World – Can’t argue with that! Shikha has a fabulous blog about her travels and hopes for more travels illustrated with some really stunning pictures
4. Santosh Namby is a civil servant in India and loves photography … I have linked to his Gravatar rather than pick one of his blogsites – there are three and I leave it to you to explore and enjoy the beautiful images and the wisdom with which he accompanies them
5. Travels with Choppy – written by Sarah Ferguson and following her life and travels with the dog she brought home from a pound as a 12 week old puppy some 6 years ago
6. Yelling Rosa – is a Finnish Poet, has more than one volume under his belt and is interesting as a writer of poetry and songs from a culture I know virtually nothing about, but want to. That’s me in a nutshell really – I want to know all about everything. Life’s too bluddy short!
7. Le Drake Noir – takes stunning photographs and has a slightly lateral take on the world … spending part of the year on Merseyside and part in Alsace is immediately appealing to me given my family links to both.
8. Another Cup of Coffee – Margaret came to the US from Cuba where a childhood in the 60s as a Catholic with a conscience was maybe less than straightforward. She is a sensitive and beautiful photographer and has a lovely self-deprecating style when she writes
9. Minding my Ps with Q – the Q is for Quirkiness and I suppose most would think it quirky for a grown human to believe that toys play when we are not looking and fairies live at the bottom of the garden … but I believe both those things and I could fly as a child, so I should know
10. Anita is another where I am linking you to a Gravatar rather than a website … she has three and they are all rather gorgeous – one for her stunning photographs, another for her lovely beads and jewellery and my favourite of all the one devoted to all things yarn
11. Dunelight when questioned as to why she had settled in Michigan said ‘it’s the light’ and she is all about light … beautiful often stunning photos and well chosen words to accompany. Besides, she defended The Bean when photographed sitting so patiently outside the door in the snow recently so she has to be on my list!
Now, I appreciate that some will see this as a double edged sword, I understand that most of my list do not need my help in raising their profile but I was thought of and I can think of less offensive things to do than say I think someone is worthy of recognition outside of their normal circle of trust so here are the questions I would like answered by those that choose to do so:
1. Where in the world would you like to go that you have not been so far?
2. Dog, cat or something else entirely?
3. Last supper – food and guests?
4. What would you do differently if you knew no-one would judge you?
5. The one inanimate thing you would save from your burning home?
6. What do you think is your greatest strength?
7. And conversely what would you say is your greatest weakness?
8. What is the best compliment you have ever received?
9. Which character in literature could be you?
10. In the film of your life, who would play you?
11. And what would the title of the film be?
Off you go if you will and I will not be offended if you won’t. The fact is that all the blogs listed give me great pleasure and I hope mine gives a little too. Now I’m off to try and pin these awards on the left lapel of my blog.
PS: Rather fittingly the title is a Lady GaGa song … she who wore an entirely normal ensemble to belt out a medley of Sound of Music songs at last night’s Oscars to mark the 50th anniversary of the film that I must have seen at least that many times ….