Today is my one day of rest in this busy fortnight where I am working thirteen out of fourteen days 😦 and yet somehow I have managed to promise I will run errands for my landlady and make hummus and crudites for her. I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time chopping up carrots, peppers, celery and cucumber. Well, I have promised, so I will keep my word.
Thank goodness I have so many almost completed posts in my drafts folder at the moment. It is great to spend the little time I have polishing them up ready for you. I have really enjoyed preparing this post.
I have been nominated for The Liebster Awarrd by the inspiring Glen McKenzie, creator of justabitfurther where we find posts that encourage all of us to “get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself”. Have a look at Glen’s own fabulous Liebster Award post:
- Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award – Thank you Glen!
- Answer 8 questions that the blogger gave you
- Give 8 random thoughts about yourself
- Nominate 8 other bloggers and notify them of their nomination
- Ask your nominees 8 questions
Questions From Glen
How did you pick your blog’s name?
It was a rather random choice as a result of brainstorming with a friend. I think my blog-name may have caused confusion because the first dozen bloggers who followed my site were foodie bloggers. But I do like caramel very much.
CARAMEL is the protagonist on my site, who is me…CRUSHED because I was crushed by an extraordinary situation that developed with my ex-flatmate, and at my lowest point when I was struggling the most, I stayed out later than I should and ended up sitting tearfully on a park bench. That night … well, I have written about it in other posts. Something terrible happened to me.
My friend helped me set up the blog site back at the end of April 2018. Initially, he wanted me to post some of the personal accounts I had shared with him in e-mails. He loved the embarrassing stories I told him about from my early twenties. I knew there were a lot of other subjects I wanted to write about, including the events that crushed me.
We had a bit of a laugh brain storming over different names, but he suggested Caramel, because sometimes he has used that as a pet name for me. Actually he tends to call me Caramel Betty. He always said he could never understand how Jack could have been so careless with someone so sweet and who is such a softie.
That was it. I remember looking at him and saying CRUSHEDCARAMEL, because I was crushed by what happened to me and that was one of the subjects I knew needed to escape from inside me, but I wanted the site to be light-hearted and fun – I hope that is the overall feel of the site. I want joy to dominate, but every now and then I need to write about what crushed me and in a way still does.
What advice can you give someone who is just starting out in the blogging world?
- Be patient.
- Enjoy writing and creating posts.
- Read the posts from other successful bloggers and think about what makes their posts appealing and attractive. Learn from them.
- Be a positive, encouraging breath of fresh air.
- Be persistent. Try to publish a little something on a regular basis.
- Get involved with commenting on other bloggers sites, and participating in challenges. We all like to know there is friendly human being behind the blog-site. Be safe and security conscious, but do share a bit of your personality.
- Be patient – your statistics might be rather discouraging for a long time. So enjoy your writing and the interaction with other bloggers while you wait for more readers.
When you are new to blogging, the blogging world can be a bit like turning up at a party where everyone else seems to know each other and you don’t know them. So be polite, be personable, be appealing. There are bound to be other bloggers who will warm to you when you make an effort to interact. Back that up with creating your own great posts, so that when they check out your posts they want to keep coming back.
Enjoy the party!
If you are ever struggling – it’s ok to ask a blogger for help and advice. Other bloggers are human. It’s endearing when a new blogger is a little lost and asks for advice.
What is your perfect comfort food?
I find a lot of food comforting. I love food and would happily write about it all day. I follow a lot of foodie bloggers who all make me very hungry with the photos they post of their creations!
Years ago I had to walk home from high school (which was about four miles from our home) when we had a snow storm and the school buses could not run because of the roads. (That’s what happens in England when it snows – we are a bit pathetic!)
I did not even have a coat – just my school uniform. I was not properly dressed for the cold at all! It was dark, cold and I was shivering. But I remember passing a girl who was a couple of years younger than me who did not have her school blazer. So she was walking home in a thin blouse and a skirt, which was rather on the short side and a pair of flimsy ballet shoes. She was in tears. I was really worried about her. I gave her my blazer (so now I was the one in the thin blouse!) and told her to walk with me. I knew I was stronger physically than she was. I kept her morale up and because she had an even longer journey to her home on the other side of town, I took her home to our house. The poor little thing.
Mum told her to wait in our house until Dad came home from work and then he would make sure she reached home safely and in the meantime my mum telephoned her mum. Then Mum made us some delicious veggie soup and hot toast lathered with melting butter. I always remember how it felt to have that meal after we had been so bitterly cold.
Who is your favourite blogging person you follow? And why?
Ooooh – are we allowed to choose favourites Glen?
I will mention one blogger though, Teresa Grabs, who is the creator of one of my favourite sites:
I started blogging back at the very end of April…so many bloggers that were around then don’t seem to be around now…that could be for many reasons. But she is one blogger who has been around all that time and has been consistent in producing wonderful pieces of fiction herself and in supporting the blogging community by providing writing prompts, fun questions challenges and a lot of open dialogue about the challenges in writing.
I have found Teresa extremely encouraging and a source of great practical advice. To me she is an exemplary blogger. The quality of Teresa’s own writing is superb, but also for the huge contribution she has made to other bloggers – I think she is top of the list of super-bloggers for me.
There are many other bloggers whom I follow and I love the variety of personalities that shine through. The different styles and outlooks and senses of humour. I love the wonderful diversity of posts and bloggers. It’s a party that never gets boring.
Describe yourself in three words.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I try really hard not to buy them, but every now and then a bag of Tyrell’s Vegetable Crisps seems to fall from the supermarket shelves into my shopping basket!
I love them, my sister Milly loves them too! They are so delicious!
What is your most prized possession?
I try not to get too attached to possessions.
But something I have been very pleased with is the one litre water bottle I have had since the spring time. It is a Super Sparrow Sports Water Bottle. It is a kind of teal colour. NO more buying bottled water. Now I fill up my own reusable water bottle. It has become my constant companion and I am rather attached to it now!
I keep wondering whether I should perhaps buy a smaller one. There are times when a one litre bottle is a bit big.
What single quality do you most appreciate in people?.
Kindness / Unselfishness
I know that is two…but sometimes people are kind for selfish reasons.
Kindness is a beautiful trait. My parents have instilled in me a huge love for kindness. Especially today when we might have no idea how much pain another human is carrying around inside, how close they are to breaking point – we should be generous with words and deeds of kindness.
What do you love most about blogging?
The human element. I am a people person. I love the other people who are blogging. The wonderful personalities and the different points of view, pastimes, passions reflected by the many bloggers out there.
I have really warmed to the personalities of many bloggers. It’s a pleasure to read their posts.
The interaction is a real bonus of blogging. I did not expect it when I started blogging. Some days I come home after a long day and I find the post I scheduled to be published early that morning has had some lovely feedback from other bloggers. It is so encouraging!
What’s the favourite post that you’ve published? (Link, please!)
There are a lot of posts on my site that I have really enjoyed putting together. Some of them I like to look back at and I really enjoy reading about the members of family or friends or special experiences I have had.
I also love all of the posts about Goldfinch. I have looked over a lot of them recently and they cheer me up enormously! This is one that celebrates the joy and excited he has stirred within me:
Eight Random Facts About Moi:
- I used to open Robbie Williams’ fan mail
- I love karaoke!
- My voice used to be heard by shoppers visiting a popular retail chain. I did a series of recorded promotions along the lines of: “Good morning ladies and gentleman and welcome to (THE NAME OF THE STORE). Our winter sale is now on and you can save up to 50% on all clothing ranges. Find winter essentials for the whole family. Thank you for shopping at…” The recordings were played every fifteen – twenty minutes at stores in the UK.
- Lots of people say they like my voice but have difficulty placing my accent. There is a little of the Liverpool accent (and sometimes I use expressions that seem to be only used in Liverpool) and a little of the broader Lancashire accent and a twang of Australian (my mum’s family are Australian) but I speak in a very clear English style. The tone of my voice is fairly soft and rhythmic. Many tell me to speak up because they cannot hear me when I speak at my natural volume. Some of my friends say they could listen to my voice droning all day because it calms them down. That has really helped when I have had to deal with aggressive patients while working in healthcare. I seem to calm them down just by speaking even if I am just talking about the weather, they seem distracted by my voice.
- I love ironing (almost as much as karaoke!)
- I have fallen off three buses in my life, once off the school bus when I was fourteen, ended up with a back-slab on for weeks and had to use crutches. And twice on packed London buses.
- My primary school was burnt down to the ground when I was seven years of age. For years our whole primary school had to be transported on double-decker buses to a high school on the opposite side of our town that had some spare classrooms.
- Candles scare me. In the town I grew up in there were a lot of deadly house fires due to accidents with candles or cigarette stubs that had not been extinguished properly. The houses on the council estate I grew up on would burn up like cardboard. Whole families have been lost in some of the fires that occurred. Very upsetting. Whenever anyone gives me candles as a gift, I give them away to someone else, normally a charity shop.
Eight Questions For My Nominees
- HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BLOGGING FOR?
- FANCY DRESS PARTIES – WHAT HAVE YOU DRESSED UP AS?
- WHICH SONGS WOULD YOU SING IN THE SHOWER WHEN YOU THINK NOBODY CAN HEAR?
- IS ANYONE ELSE IN YOUR FAMILY A BLOGGER OR VLOGGER?
- DO YOU EVER FEEL DISCOURAGED ABOUT BLOGGING? WHAT DO YOU DO TO KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED?
- WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MEMORY OR EXPERIENCE?
- DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE TV DETECTIVE?
- IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE PERFECT DAY – WHERE WOULD IT BE? WHO WOULD YOU BE WITH? WHAT WOULD YOU EAT? (That is several questions rolled into one – but we would love to know what would make a perfect day to you.