Thank you Trophydaughter for nominating me for the Liebster Award! I can’t deny I am flattered, and I am grateful for the extra publicity for my blog.
Before passing the award on I must tell you 11 random things about myself and answer 11 questions Trophydaughter thought up:
Random facts about me:
1. I am not really a nightingale. I don’t sing particularly well either.
2. I love chocolate. Good, Belgian chocolate. I import it because I can’t live without. Well, I could, but I’d rather not.
3. I also import Belgian beer, preferably a Tripel. Just for my own private consumption, don’t hassle me. Although I could start up a business if you wanted.
4. I like my own company. That is not to say I don’t like others’, but I have no problem being by myself.
5. I meditate. Have done for about 8 months. I always thought mediation was for weird people, let’s call them the mildly untethered. Surprisingly I have found it anchors me more firmly so I actually feel more alive.
6. I once qualified as a diver, and I’d love to revive those skills. I want to be in the thick of the sardine run action at the Cape, when all the dolphins, whales, seagulls and sharks are going for the poor little sardines. Let’s not tell them that if they manage to escape the predators they are likely to end up in a trawler net and on my plate.
7. It saddens me that I don’t fully belong in Belgium anymore, and yet don’t quite belong here in the UK either. On the plus side, that frees me up to move anywhere I fancy once the children grow up.
8. I want to come back as my dog: sleep all day, only interrupted for foodies and walkies. That’s the life.
9. My favourite smell is freshly baked bread, in all its many varieties – the smell of croissants wafting out onto the pavements of Paris in the morning or my very own cardamom-laced currant buns fresh from the oven on a winter’s day… I love them all.
10. My favourite sound is the lazy bubbling sound a full wine bottle produces when you pour the first wine. It never sounds like that again, it must be linked to the bottle neck. It holds so much promise.
11. I am determined to travel more in the coming years. I’ll start with a trip to Budapest to visit the friend who got me into blogging.
My answers to Trophydaughter’s questions:
1) Why did you start writing a blog? A friend of mine convinced me to publish what I was writing for myself anyway. He was right, it did make me polish my craft more. And it is great to know someone reads what you’ve written.
2) What are you currently reading? A work related book. Fascinating if you are into that kind of thing. I’m not sure what novel I’ll pick from my recently downloaded mini-library yet.
3) How would you describe your singing voice? Alto. Not trained at all; who knows what potential it holds?
4) What gives you the giggles? Catching my husband’s eye when I am about to burst into laughter, then lose it together so badly we don’t remember what set us off in the first place.
5) What’s your favorite movie one-liner? I still find the scene in the Raiders of the Lost Ark where Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones pulls a gun on the sword-wielding baddies hilarious. Ok it is non-verbal but allow me to stretch the assignment a little.
6) If you could have one do-over, what would it be? Can you make me funnier?
7) What’s your fav Chinese dish? The stuffed lotus root I had in a fabulous Beijing restaurant. I dreaded touching it because it looked like brain, but it was lovely! And once they had told me what it was the aftertaste was even better. Phew, lotus root.
8) How are you going to change the world? I am going to save a species from extinction by moving it to a new, friendlier environment. I am bound to, with all the moving around I do on this planet and the elephant in a porcelain shop I am to these tiny creatures.
9) When is the last time you sobbed, truly sobbed? About 4 months ago. That is all I will tell you.
10) What do you want to be remembered for? Having raised sensible and responsible children.
11) Who’s a tough act to follow? There are so many people who truly have changed our world, but I’ll pick Nelson Mandela. I can’t think of anyone else as brave, determined, graceful and influential.
Now I would like to pass the award on to the following blogs:
Eternal Domnation – who has only just been given the Liebster Award so I’ll just endorse that award without demanding anything in return
My questions to you are:
2. Post 11 random facts about yourself
3. Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
4. Pass the award onto 11 other blogs (and notify the bloggers that you nominated them!)
5. Write 11 NEW questions directed toward YOUR nominees.
6. You are not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated your own blog.
7. Paste the award picture into your blog.
Yesterday was a bonus holiday here in the UK, and with the weather in late winter mode I ended up doing nothing at all for the best part of the day. Too cold, wet and soggy to move plants around in the garden or even take the dog out, let alone go visit something. All the usual chores completed by Sunday night out of sheer habit. And you know what? I don’t feel the slightest bit of guilt. Ok, maybe I do a little since the concept of guilt infiltrated my mind in the first place.
As I was driving to work today all refreshed, having this guilt / no guilt conversation with myself, I remembered my colleague recently using the phrase “idle minds are the devil’s workshop”. She was referring to the fact that people at work are so busy right now that they don’t find time to stir up a fuss; they just get on with their work. When we were struggling to find projects for everyone a couple of years ago there was no end to the petty issues. I had to admit she had a point. But I resent that she has. I have always found it a repulsively paternalistic notion: that you have to keep your minions busy = distracted in order to stay in control.
In any case, the devil and his workshop haven’t got their claws in me: I have blithely done nothing for a day without causing havoc. On the contrary, I am a nicer person to be around today, my fuse is longer. Even if I say so myself. I cannot recommend allowing yourself some space to come to rest highly enough. I reckon if everyone did this from time to time, especially when under high pressure, the devil’s workshop would be all out of tools. I’ll drink a good Belgian tripel to idleness!
Thank you Blondgirl008 for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award! I only started blogging a few weeks ago and feel like I am still trying it out, playing around. I am so chuffed with the recognition. So there you know the first fact about me, which I am surprised to learn myself: I am vain! I did not have myself down as vain at all, I am way too cool for that. Was, obviously.
It seems odd that anyone might want to know anything about me. I am but the messenger, there to entertain you with stories and observations. But one must play by the rules, so I shall throw you a few herrings:
I wish I could travel more. My list of places to experience before I die predicts a long life. I can’t wait for more experiences like spending time in the Masai Mara. The space, its very own rhythm, the intimate confrontation with the cycle of life – there is nothing like it.
I have a bit of a green thumb. Don’t judge me, I give you honesty. The greenery calms me. And it doesn’t talk back.
I don’t have a cellar. I cool my beers in the garage in winter. In Summer I turn to white wine or lagers.
I have recently cleared my driver’s licence of the burden of 2 speeding tickets – partly thanks to the Mini: it gives me an unreal sense of speed.
I would like to share the versatile blogger award with these blogs: