Teresa Has Nominated Me For The Mystery Blogger Award

bloggingI am trying to give some attention to some lovely nominations and tags I received recently.

You all know how long these award posts take to prepare, but I do love them. I have been thinking about them while they have sat patiently in my drafts folder. I feel like I need a break away from my lap-top after the BAKE-OFF.  So I think I am going to be content with publishing one a post day, maybe two if the mood takes me 🙂

The wonderful Teresa, better known as The Haunted Wordsmith has nominated me for THE MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD, as you can see from her post below:


mystery 1

What is the Mystery Award?

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
– Okoto Enigma


  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
  4. Answer the 5 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  5. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  6. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  7. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
  8. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  9. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
  10. Share a link to your best post(s).

Three Things About Me

I am trying to think of three new things to tell you. Hmm…

collapsed in snowI was once dragged through the snow on my stomach by a sledge pulled by a team of husky dogs. I was on the back of the sledge (I was supposed to be “steering” the sledge) and I fell off. I had asked the owner of the sledge and the dogs, what happened if I fell off. He told me there was no way I was going to fall off. I fell off. I was clinging with all my might to the handle bar of the sledge, terrified that my friends were going to end up crashing into a tree. I was dragged along on my tummy for some time before eventually my strength gave out. I could hear my friends screaming. The owner…well it’s such a funny story, I should probably save the entire saga for another post.

I was a first aider from the age of sixteen. Every three years I went on a refresher course to re-qualify. My last certificate expired about a year ago. For the first time in twenty years I am not a “qualified first-aider” which means I cannot be used as a first-aider on a lot of the voluntary projects I work on. It feels like a real shame. I think I need to go and do another full first aid course (I can’t do a refresher course because my certificate has lapsed). I have been a first-aider on many construction projects and at major events for many years. It seems a shame to not be one of the team.

masterchefI am so so excited about watching the final of the BBC Masterchef show. I will be at work tonight when it is broadcast, so I will have to wait to watch it on BBC i-player. I can’t wait. I have been so fond of the contestants and am so impressed by what they have accomplished. Please don’t tell me the result!!

My Best Post


One of the very first posts (I think it was the first) I ever published is the one that is closest to my heart. I wrote this poem twenty years ago. I have worked on the middle section a couple of times, but the start and finish are exactly what I wrote when I was a teenager. I have a huge soft spot for it.

Five Questions From Teresa

What are your plans for this fine spring weekend?

On Saturday I will be walking out in the spring sunshine and enjoying all of the wonderful blossom that is on so many trees at the moment. The forecast is pretty good at the weekend. My friends and I will be walking from Hampstead to Richmond. I am going to a party on Saturday night. It is after a ceremony (I am not going to the ceremony, just the after-party), so it will be a late night for me.

IMG_20180721_074541Sunday – I am doing some volunteer work for most of the day, and then in the evening I am going round to the home of some friends from Bulgaria. I am taking a chilled chocolate cheesecake (which I will have to make first thing on Saturday morning, or maybe I can risk leaving it til Sunday morning – nope, I am going to be too tired after the party). People love that thing, I am asked to make it regularly. I daren’t eat it because I am not good with dairy.

What kind of museum would you create if you could (what would you put in it)?

Oh…that’s an interesting question – never have thought about that. So many museums in London that I love visiting. I guess I would love there to be a museum packed with all our family memories.

bananaepisodeAll the different cars Dad has driven over the years. Mum’s dresses. Swatches of the different curtains and wallpapers we have been through. Our toys and books from childhood. My collection of sunglasses from childhood and my roller-skates. All the family photos of course.

I think I would visit the museum regularly, as would all of my family. But I don’t think anyone else would be interested! We are not going to be able to get the tax-payer to fund this museum are we!

What is something best served cold?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fhgrht.pngCustard.

I really like hot fruit crumble with cold custard (dairy free for me). My friends like cold crumble with hot custard which I think is odd. Custard is so nice cold!

I know there will be some who disagree with me. My friends and I seem to be 50/50 split on this issue. But that seems to be the trend in the UK at the moment – to be 50/50 split on important subjects like whether custard should be cold or hot.

What can always bring you out of a slump?

What kind of slump? Are we talking about feeling a bit low?

Normally, being with people cheers me up enormously. I really thrive on being with people. I am from a big family. I  have worked on projects with hundreds of other volunteers. I love people. I am with people a lot. But I like being alone too. It’s important to me to have some alone time.

There are other things I might do if I am on my own for some reason and feeling down. Sometimes I am forced against my will to be alone due to the intense pain I have since I received head injuries. At times like that, I do sometimes feel a bit sorry for myself. I mentioned some of them in my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post this week:

  • ring my mum, one of my sisters, or a good friend
  • type an e-mail to Goldfinch
  • go for a walk, there are beautiful parks nearby my accommodation
  • lie on the grass in the park and doze under the warm sunshine
  • listen to some music that always makes me feel good
  • walk to a nearby artisan bakery on the high street and buy myself the gooiest cake I can find
  • iron any laundry that is stacked up, it’s something I really enjoy
  • work on the little book I am writing for my niece

What recently read book do you think everyone should read?

Wish Upon A Leaf by [Grabs, Teresa]I find Teresa’s new book an absolute delight. The main characters are enchanting. I love their story. I love love love it.

My first copy arrived from Amazon yesterday. I am going to buy more copies as we have quite a few children in our family who are the perfect age group for this book, and they all like reading.

I wish Teresa every success with her new book…and hopefully more are in the pipeline.

My Nominees

Ursula Has Nominated Me For The Mystery Blogger Award

I was nominated for THE MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD by the wonderful Ursula the creator of An Upturned Soul, as you can see from her fabulous post below:



What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion. – Okoto Enigma


  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog – THANK YOU URSULA!
  4. Answer the questions from the blogger who nominated you
  5. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  6. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  7. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  8. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  9. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  10. Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Things About Me

1. I love wearing dresses. It’s not practical to wear a dress for some of the work I do, gardening and cleaning. Neither do I wear dresses when I go hiking or running. But I love wearing dresses any other appropriate time. I loved wearing dresses for Goldfinch.

I have a beautiful collection of dresses, most of which I have found in charity shops. I particularly like knee-length fit and flare dresses. Even when I was a little girl and loved playing football and climbing trees (which I still love) I was very attached to collection of beautiful dresses. I have always liked to wear pretty clothes.

summer12. I love summer. I love it very much. However, for the last three summers I have had a lot of frightening flashbacks taking me right back to that night in the park. There are lots of things that trigger memories of that night. The heat, the smell of grass, the sounds of animals at night. This year I will be in Australia when that date comes round again. Four years since I was attacked. I will be with Goldfinch. It will be winter in Australia. I am hoping I am alright.

Fashion, Woman, Bed, Beauty, Girl, Model3. I need to get a hair cut! I have shocking split ends at the moment. But it costs so much money to have my hair cut here in London. I am trying to arrange a salon appointment on one of my visits up north. My hair is quite long at the moment, and because it looks a bit tatty when it is down, I am having to wear it up all the time 😦

My Best Post

Well here is one of the posts I like best. It is about a very special member of my family:

Why Was Milly Always Given More Sweets Than Mandy and Me?

Sharing sweets

Ursula’s Questions

1 – If you could spend a weekend as your adult self with your child self, what would you do together?

Climbing trees. I did not have to think about an answer to that question.

But I think you said it was for a whole weekend…therefore, I will probably throw in some other activities too. We would probably be camping outdoors and watching the stars at night. We would definitely be swimming. Probably swinging from a rope that was tied to a branch.

That reminds me of a picture I saw ages ago. I was with a friend who has a little girl. Little one showed me her beautiful Bible story book. The picture captured exactly my idea both as a child and as an adult of a perfect way to have fun. I think it’s this one.

2 – When you look at yourself, either in a mirror, a photo, or in your mind’s eye, what do you notice the most about yourself, what part of you do you focus your attention upon the most?

I rarely look at photos of myself. I can’t bare to. I am not camera shy, in fact I can be quite a poser! But I am photo shy, I hate to see myself in a photo. Please don’t ask me to explain it, but I literally cannot bear to see myself in a photo. There are no photos of me on display here in my little abode. My family have photos of me displayed, but I know where they are and I won’t look at them.

I don’t mind the photos of me as a kiddo.

Now it’s only photos I have a problem with, I don’t mind looking at myself in a mirror, well, it depends which mirror. Sometimes when I have been shopping and tried a garment on in a brightly lit changing room, and there are mirrors at all angles that show my behind and an odd angle of my profile, I always cringe at what I see. I hardly ever go on to buy whatever garment I am trying on.

mirrorBut I don’t have any problem with mirrors in general. Goodness, I have made myself sound as if I have a phobia. I love the mirrors on the bathroom cabinet in my little abode. It makes my face look so pretty. Also I have two long mirrors and they are very flattering. I don’t know whether it is the softer lighting, or if the mirrors I have here are faulty – but I like what they show.

mirror1I have a healthy awareness of my erm, “assets” and I also know which bits of me I could change if I put a little more effort in!

If I look in the bathroom cabinet mirror at my face I usually focus on my eye-brows and I try to tidy them up a bit. The rest of my face is normally in the right place! I think that when I look in one of the long mirrors I look ok face on, but when I turn to the side, my eyes are automatically drawn to my tummy and whether it is looking flatter or fuller. I try not to look in the mirror straight after a big meal.

3 – If you were given the power to stop time which would freeze everyone in the moment for however long you wanted, and you could move around during that frozen time – what would you do?

Cleaning. I shall explain further down…

There was a show on TV years ago, I watched a couple of episodes I think. The basic concept was that an alien had married a human and they had a daughter. That daughter was able to freeze everyone around her and move around just as you mentioned in the question. In fact in the video below which show the opening and closing credits, you see her put her fingers together and the tin of paint that has falling off the ladder freezes in the air.

So why would I want to freeze time to do some cleaning? Well…I sometimes clean up after a bunch of young people have been at working in a large open plan office. When I clean, I clean to a high standard. I am always a bit shocked when I see the mess they have made in between my cleans.

It’s sometimes incomprehensible to me how they can make so much mess. I would like to walk in while they are all there, freeze them, tidy up while they are all frozen and then see how they react when they are unfrozen. I have started to leave notes explaining areas I was not able to clean and stating how they should leave the premises in order for me to be able to clean properly.

4 – If you woke up tomorrow to find that one of your blog posts had gone viral, had accumulated thousands of views overnight, hundreds of comments, likes, shares, and was very much loved by everyone – how would you react?

I have been thinking about this question. I think I would be terrified.

blogging audienceI feel safe within a relatively limited number of readers – who are all other bloggers and writers. So far 99.5% of the bloggers I have interacted with seem lovely. There is a nice supportive spirit. But the thought of the number of people looking at something I have written growing like wildfire is a bit frightening.

I know you said to imagine that one of my blog-posts had gone viral and everyone loved it, but it still makes me nervous. I don’t want Jack to find me. Not only physically, but I don’t want him to know anything about my blogging. If there was a dramatic increase in the number of people who were viewing my posts, I would be afraid that it would not be long until he found me.

5 – What mistake do you keep making? What lesson do you keep learning?

Hmm…I make mistakes, but I don’t usually make the same ones over and over.

No, Refuse, Negative, Reject, DislikeThere was a mistake I kept making for years. I was told again and again that I needed to learn to say no. I think a lot of people realized that for many years I was juggling a lot of responsibilities. Perhaps they could see it was unsustainable.

A lot of my seniors would advise me that I needed to learn to say no because I was doing so much. The problem was they were the very ones who would call me a couple of days later and tell me that someone had pulled out of something and ask me if I could stand in at short notice. Do you think they were going to be pleased with me if I tried to say “no”?

tired.pngHowever, since I was the victim of a serious crime, I cannot go at the pace I was before. My head injuries have limited my abilities. I try to be honest and upfront with people about how much I can commit to. I am busy. But I cannot be busy the way  was before. I cannot have lots of people depending on me. If I felt overwhelmed, I would probably just say “this is not going to work, it would be better for everyone if you found someone to replace me“. I try to keep life simpler. I just cannot feel the pressure of juggling too many obligations.

My Questions For My Nominees


My Nominees

Kristian Has Nominated Me For The Versatile Blogger Award

One of my favourites bloggers and my very favourite member of the local naked rowing club, Kristian, creator of Tales from the mind of Kristian, has nominated me for THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD, as you can see from his post below:


versatile blogger award 1.jpg

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award and include a link to their blog – THANK YOU KRISTIAN!!!
  2. Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
  3. Select 10 -15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly and nominate those bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Seven Things About Me

I am going to recycle some of the facts about me I have used in other posts, because I have shared a lot of me in the past…I don’t know what else to share!

  • I live in London, England.
  • I decided to become a vegetarian (not a vegan) when I was six years old. But for around ten years I have had an intolerance to dairy, so I end up eating a lot of vegan food.
  • I have been blogging for eleven months and have enjoyed it way more than I thought I would.
  • Raspberries, Berry, Fruit, Berry FruitsI love jam and preserves. However, spots appear on my face after I eat jam. My biggest weakness is morello cherry jam. Yum! I would like to imagine myself in the future having the time to pick fruit and make my own jam. I would love to be one of those people who churns out vast quantities of home-made jam, fruit curds and chutneys, and gives away jars to all of their neighbours and friends and workmates.
  • I have eyes of blue, but they have flecks of marmalade in them (the colour I mean) and if I wear green, people tell me I have beautiful green eyes. My eyes are blue. One man (a complete stranger) came up to me and my sister Milly and told us we had stunning grey eyes. My eyes are blue.
  • Manchester bombDuring my first ever shopping trip without my parents, I went to Manchester with my younger sister Mandy and the ÂŁ100 of my pocket money I had saved up for months before. I spent all my money within an hour. We walked past a truck at least twice that morning that contained a bomb, which a short time later exploded, destroying Manchester city center.
  • At the moment, I feel strongly that I would prefer to be single for the rest of my life rather than any other man besides Goldfinch touch me. I found someone I am happy to be in love with until my last breath. It makes me feel sick to think of being with anyone else. Goldfinch has been sending me photos of his world in Adelaide and some stunning photographs of Australian landscapes like The Grampions he has visited recently. I love him. I love Goldfinch, and even though I am not physically with him, I simply feel repulsed by the idea of anyone else.

My Nominees

Beckie Has Nominated Me For The Versatile Blogger Award

I have been nominated for THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD by Beckie, the creator of Beckie’s Mental Mess, as you can see from her post below:


versatile blogger award.jpg

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award and include a link to their blog – THANK YOU BECKIE!!!
  2. Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
  3. Select 10 – 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly and nominate those bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Seven Things About Me

  • I have never been to Australia before.
  • I am going to Australia in June to see my Goldfinch.
  • My Grandfather (who died a year ago) was Australian. He was actually from Brisbane.
  • I have an uncle and a brother in Australia, in addition to family I have never met before. My uncle has held office in Australia. My brother spends half of each year in the same city where Goldfinch’s home is.
  • I think I am going to drive myself a little crazy, and all of you a lot crazy, as I count the days until I am with Goldfinch again.
  • It’s going to take so much money to go to Australia, I am going to live on cup-a-soups for the next three months – you think I’m kidding don’t you!
  • I feel so sick with excitement, I think it’s a good job that all I am going to be able to afford is cup-a-soups – do you know Ainsley Harriet has a pretty nice range of cup-a-soups?

ainsley soup.jpg

Did I ever tell you that Ainsley Harriet stopped me to ask for directions? I was able to help him. I think I remember he responded with a wink and a “thanks darlin”.

My Nominees

Beckie Has Nominated Me For The Mystery Blogger Award

The fabulous Beckie the creator of Beckie’s Mental Mess, has nominated me for THE MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD, as you can see from her post below:



What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion. â€“ Okoto Enigma


  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog – THANK YOU BECKIE!
  4. Answer the questions from the blogger who nominated you
  5. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  6. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  7. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  8. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  9. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  10. Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Things About Me

sign languageI learnt British sign language when I was sixteen, and for around ten years I was an interpreter for those who were deaf. That was mainly when I lived up north. When I moved down south, I interpreted just a handful of times, so I became rusty. But then when I started working in pharmacy, we had a few deaf customers, so it was very useful. I don’t use sign language regularly now, but I still find that I sometimes “think” in sign language, especially when I dream. Sometimes Milly and I will have conversations in sign language. (Milly is still an interpreter.)

stick insect.jpgThere was a stage in my life when I had to clean out the tank regularly that was the home of eight stick insects. Those little guys would chomp their way through a lot of foliage and then there was lots of stick insect poop in the tank and shrivelled up twigs that needed clearing out. It was really hard to make sure they did not escape. I had a couple of afternoons when I was searching the kitchen high and low for stick insects. Boy can those things move!

charity shopMost of my clothes and shoes are from charity shops. I buy underwear brand new. I also buy work shoes brand new, because they need to fit well and they need to be good quality. Other than that, second-hand is fine for me. There are six charity shops on the high street here and it is not unusual to find beautiful designer clothes with the original retailer’s labels still on.

Beckie’s Questions

What is your favourite Olympic Event?

I have to admit, it is a long time since I made time to watch any Olympic event. I am drawn to swimming though because for years my sisters and I were competitive swimmers. And diving too.

I have occasionally seen some of the television footage of the Olympics – I guess some of the running events catch my eye. But it is more the winter Olympics that really divert me – those huge ski jumps, the tobogganing, and ice-skating are events I probably would sit and watch IF I had the time.

What colour makes you happy, and what colour makes you mad… And, why?

My favourite colours make me happy – blues and greeny blues and bluey greens. I like a little yellow and a very little pink. But what makes me happy is colours that compliment each other. I love to see a mix of colours that dance together. There’s nothing quite as pretty as a rainbow.

I would not say it makes me mad, but I don’t get on well with orange for some reason. I attribute to this to my Dad painting the ceiling orange in the bedroom I shared with my sister Mandy when we were very little girls. Dad felt colours would impact our personalities and he thought orange was a happy colour. Staring up at an orange ceiling just seemed to make me averse to orange.

What is your favourite meal of the day, and what would it be?

I just like food. I love variety. I think my favourites change. At the moment I like dinner time because it signals the end of the day, nearly time for sleep.

Because I am saving up money to go to Australia and I am on an incredibly tight budget, I am going out for dinner at the home of friends a lot and it’s great to try other people’s home cooking. I am being spoilt rotten by my friends!


I had butternut squash risotto at an Italian friend’s home last week which was yummy. I had vegetarian sausage casserole with herby dumplings on Wednesday. I have an invite to the home of a friend from Sri Lanka on Sunday night and I cannot wait to try their cooking.

Non-fiction or Fictional movies, what do you prefer and why?

Here are some of my favourite movies:


If I am going to watch something new, it would need to be in the same ilk as the kind of films above. No swearing, no violence, no occult, no sex. Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, family fun entertainment please. I am just a kid at heart and I do not want to be traumatised.

If a squirrel falls out of a tree in the forest, does anybody hear it?  (Hah!  I’m running out of ideas for questions here, folks!) LOL!

I always presumed that a squirrel would be like a cat and manage to land on it’s paws unscathed. I think squirrels are so cute.

Questions For My Nominees


My Nominees

Making Every Man Mad

Jim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen a theme that seems apt for Boxing Day: ANGER/ FRUSTRATION/ FURIOUS/ IRRITATED/ MAD/ PROVOKED/ REVENGE

Just kidding! I was surprised at how difficult I found this song. I had a song in mind, that perhaps conveyed the spirit behind those words, but it did not contain any of them. But then I delved back into the archives of music from my childhood – and Bananarama came up!

This Bananarama track is a cover of a song by Shocking Blue, originally released way back in 1969. In 1986, Bananarama released their dance version, and it reached Number One in the music charts of six countries, including the USA.

I still find the original video (at the end of this post) a bit much, but I love the track, and it is the perfect dance around your living room in your pyjamas kind of music.

Goddess on the mountain top
Burning like a silver flame
The summit of beauty and love
And Venus was her name

She's got it
Yeah, baby, she's got it
I'm your Venus, I'm your fire
At your desire
Well, I'm your Venus, I'm your fire
At your desire

Her weapons were her crystal eyes
Making every man mad
Black as the dark night she was
Got what no one else had

She's got it
Yeah, baby, she's got it
I'm your Venus, I'm your fire
At your desire
Well, I'm your Venus, I'm your fire
At your desire


She's got it
Yeah, baby, she's got it
I'm your Venus, I'm your fire
At your desire
Well, I'm your Venus, I'm your fire
At your desire

Goddess on the mountain top
Burning like a silver flame
The summit of beauty and love
And Venus was her name

She's got it
Yeah, baby, she's got it
I'm your Venus, I'm your fire
At your desire
Well, I'm your Venus, I'm your fire
At your desire

Venus was her name

Yeah baby she's got it
Yeah baby she's got it
Yeah baby she's got it
Yeah baby she's got it

Written by: Robbie Van Leeuwen

Sadje Has Nominated Me For The Versatile Blogger Award

The wonderful Sadje, the creator of Keep It Alive has kindly nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award, as you can see from her post below:


The original creator of the Versatile Blogger Award wrote that it was an award for bloggers, recognising “the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page.

The Rules

  • Thank the person who gave you the award and include a link to their blog.
  • Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
  • Nominate 10 -15 other great bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Seven Things About Me

What would you like to know? Here are a few things I have mentioned before, but am recycling for this post. I am all for recycling!

  • ironingI love karaoke
  • I love ironing (almost as much as karaoke!)
  • I love having cookery lessons from friends from other countries. I have had cookery lessons with friends from Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, India, Iran, Italy, Jamaica, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Spain and Thailand – and I am always eager to learn more.
  • 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.
  • Sea, Ocean, Blue, Water, Sand, NatureI used to swim competitively. From a young age I swam around ten hours a week. I am a complete and total water baby. My happy place is the water. I love diving down and dancing in the water. I love to swim up and down and up and down and feel the thrill of gliding so fast through the water. In recent years, I have taught several adult friends how to swim, including three women from Pakistan who had never been a swimming pool before they came to England.
  • I love my food processor. I use it almost every day to make something. I love making my own hummus, pesto, coleslaw and how much easier it is to make parts of other dishes – for example a biscuit base for cheesecake. It’s really hard to imagine not having a food processor now.
  • I do believe that you often reap what you sow. If you have healthy habits, you should reap the benefits, whereas if you choose harmful habits, it is likely that you will experience poor health in time. However there are other reasons why people suffer. Sometimes someone just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes people who have lived very healthy lives experience devastating illness. Righteous people have experienced all manner of cruelty from those who are clearly unscrupulous. Often unprincipled people prosper and live in luxury. I think it is incredibly cruel and frankly outrageous when some intimate that anything bad that befalls a person is because of something bad they have done previously. It’s preposterous and shocking. And just as foolish as pointing to the wealthy and presuming their riches are blessings for being good. I scratch my head at how anyone can think that way! Suffering sad things is bad enough without thinking it is pay-back for some mistake you made, but not even being sure which mistake it was!

My Nominees

Jay-lyn Has Nominated Me For The Versatile Blogger Award

Back in April, the delightfully talented Jay-lyn, the creator of The Wonderful and Wacky World of One Single Mom, nominated moi for The Versatile Blogger Award, as you can see from her fantastic post below:



The Rules

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award and include a link to their blog – THANK YOU JAY-LYN!!!
  2. Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
  3. Select 10 -15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly and nominate those bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Seven Things About Me

seven.pngI never know what will be of any interest to anyone else. So I am going to try to have the theme of SEVEN to give me some inspiration:

navy stilletoI take a UK size 7 shoes.

I am one of seven siblings.

I was courted by a lovely young man for seven years. I ended the relationship when I was convinced we could make each other very unhappy. That was a really hard decision for me. But I have always been sure that it was absolutely the right decision.

latte mugs.jpgI live on my own at the moment but I have seven tall latte mugs which I love. I drink a lot!

I have had seven wedding invitations from friends who are getting married this year. Three weddings I have been to, one is just before I go to Australia, two I am going to miss because they are while I am in Australia, and there is another a couple of weeks after I return.

elmers greenWhen I was seven years old, the primary school I attended was burnt down by three former students. (One was eleven, the other two were fourteen.) For the next three years we had to go to the site of the remaining rubble of our school where double-decker buses would drive us to the other side of town where we were allowed to use some spare classrooms within a high school. Then it was my time to leave primary school and start at high school myself. But I went to an entirely different high school in another town all together.

I love the theme tune to “The Magnificent Seven“…and if you are not familiar with it, here it is for your enjoyment!

The Bloggers I Am Nominating

The Luminescent Kristian Has Nominated Me For The Sunshine Blogger Award

Donations Keeps Me Going, MicrophoneI found out recently that Kristian, the creator of Tales from the mind of Kristian, has a fabulous telephone/ radio/ podcast voice even when he is dying from manflu. If you have not heard him already, please make sure you listen to the podcast interview conducted by Bottomless Coffee 007:


The lovely Kristian has also nominated me for The Sunshine Blogger Award, as you can see from his post below:


sunshine blogger 4.png

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them. -THANK YOU KRISTIAN!
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

Questions From Kristian

If you knew someone who had given up on reading, what book would you give them to get them interested?

It depends on them. I need to find out what they are interested in. I would need to identify which genre at least might tempt them.

If they have not read for a while, I would not recommend to them anything too heavy going. Something light and easy and witty. Perhaps some Jane Austen to cheer them up. I forgot how much I enjoyed “Sense And Sensibility” until I read it again recently.

But if they don’t like that genre…I don’t know what to suggest. Something with a happy ending.

What do you consider one of your character flaws?

My flaws! – how long do you have Kristian?

Oh – you only asked for one.

There is a new development in my character that is troubling me. I don’t believe it was ever part of my personality before the events that have changed my life and taken me away from where I want to be. I have noticed I am more likely to take certain risks that I did not before.

For example, I left a job in the summer, before I had another one to start. Things worked out though. I ended up in a job I enjoyed more working with a fantastic team. I met Goldfinch – a complete stranger – and started an amazing romance with him. I have agreed to go on a “blind-date” (yeah I know!) with a friend of a friend at the end of February.

This risk-taking side of me is new. So far things have worked out just fine. But what if one of these riskier more daring decisions does not work out?

The thing is I am taking these risks, because in a sense, the worst thing has already happened. I was crushed, my world came crashing down. There is a part of me that doesn’t care what else I lose. That is a flaw, because in actual fact there are more things I could lose, there are more ways I could be hurt.

And yet…I can sense that while I am just existing without purpose, I am likely to take risks. When I had a strong sense of purpose, I was much more careful and protected what I had.

What is the last song you listened to before reading this?

Funny enough, I was working on another post and trying to decide whether to add a certain song. (Zoe – Sunshine On A Rainy Day) I decided to leave it out in the end. But it fits pretty perfectly with this post I think. I don’t know why the screenshot is such an unfortunate angle of such a beautiful woman:

What would you like people to know about you, that may not be obvious?


I don’t really know how to answer that. I try to be obvious in most of my posts whilst not publishing any information that could compromise my safety or privacy.

Here is something I have mentioned in another post. My motivation for blogging changed a while ago. I stopped looking at statistics, because I am not interested in how many strangers read my posts. I love the friendly camaraderie with those who do read my posts. But my motivation for some time has been my family – who still don’t know about my blogging. Some of the experiences I have written about I withheld from them in the past. For example, they have no idea of the challenges I faced during my first job in London with my boss.

I want them to have this if anything happens to me, as a result of the head injuries I received. I want most of this site to be of great enjoyment and comfort to them, with a few eye-openers I have not wanted to share before.

What impression would you like to leave people with?

I think the same impression as I am desperately trying to give to my family, friends and others who worry about me:

I am alright.

People, Woman, Girl, Smile, Happy, Face

  • They worry about my problems and the events that crushed me. They worry about my head injuries and the health-scares I have had since that night. I keep saying that I can hardly wrap myself up in cotton wool and stay indoors everyday.
  • They can’t forget what was done to me that night (whereas I seem to have got that one firmly in the box, sealed it tight, and it’s up on the very top shelf of my mind. I wish they could let it fade. They seem to see me as the victim of this violent sexual crime. They want me to talk to them about how I am dealing with it. I honestly feel I have dealt with it! It does not cause me major issues nowadays and it hasn’t for a long while.
  • They worry that I might become isolated emotionally with all my worries. I have learnt to talk to the right people when I need to and this writing malarkey is very helpful too.

I do understand them worrying, but I want everyone to know that since this all happened, I have been taking one step after another, one day at a time. I am doing alright. I am enjoying life. I might be a long way off from where I want to be. But what can I do? except keep taking one step after another, one day at a time?

I want everyone to have the impression that I am doing alright.

If you had to sing something in public, what song would you choose?

So easy! My go-to karaoke song has been the same for years – I love it!

Name a book that you are intending to read, at some point.

Well, I mainly read the classics to be honest. I read them over and over. There’s enough of them. I really want to read Mrs. Gaskell’s “North and South” again soon.

A more modern book that I need to read is the squeal to “Me Before You” by JoJo Moyes. The squeal is named “After You”. I think it will be a good book for me to read now that I have had to say goodbye to Goldfinch.

Do you have a favourite artist/painter, who are they?

I really am a bit ignorant when it comes to art I am afraid. But I do really like American landscape art. Have you heard of Albert Bierstadt for example? Here are some of his:

When I was in Houston, Texas, I loved the exhibitions on landscape art in the Museum of Fine Arts. An artist who can capture some of the aspects of creation I love and put them on canvass grabs my attention.

What subject that isn’t normally taught in schools, do you think should be?

I think there should be more provision to help teenagers recognise their own emotions like anger, jealousy, inadequacy and stress and practical strategies to deal with them.

Teenagers especially might not have that help and support with their emotional health at home. I wish there were qualified instructors at schools to prepare teenagers for the fact they need to learn how to control their emotions and if they become overwhelmed at any point with stress or challenges, who to turn to for support.

Do you have a pet? What animal is it, or what animal would you like to have?

I am not currently allowed to have a pet within my tenancy agreement. If I lived in the countryside, I would love a dog, long walks in the countryside and loyal companionship. But it would be cruel to have a dog here in London. You have to work so many hours just to be able to afford to live in London – a dog would be stuck on their own all day. I could not do that to a dog – it would be cruel.

fluffy bunnyWe had cats for years growing up. But one pet I always wanted was a fluffy rabbit! I just wish it could run around all over the garden safely – I wouldn’t want it to feel trapped in a cage all the time.

Did I ever tell you the story about our neighbour’s rabbit “Rambo”? I will have a look though my posts…and if not, I have to tell you about him.

You wake up at 2am and can’t sleep. What do you do?

IMG_20180722_123051 (2)I send a text message to Goldfinch because it will be lunchtime for him.

Oh my goodness – he is even cuter than the fluffy bunny.

Have I mentioned lately how much I miss him? He went to a wedding last week. He texted me telling me about it – romantic and small. Aaaaah sigh!

Questions For My Nominees


My Nominees

Sharing Myself Should Be Easier

So….I have been in an odd situation recently – interviews. I am not going to write about all the details now because, these interviews may all come to nothing. But there is one particular aspect of modern day interviews that terrifies the living daylights out of me!

Interview, Interview Process

It would seem that during the Pandemic, a new form of interviews has emerged out of the woodworks – VIDEO INTERVIEWS. Yikes!!! Nightmare!!!

Why should I be daunted by the interview process? I don’t mind sharing who I am and what makes me tick. I have been doing exactly that for the past three and a half years while blogging on WordPress. Especially during the questions that were directed to me in these blogging award nominations.

Well….I am going to be away next week and on top of that, my posts still seem to sometimes appearing in the WP Reader and sometimes not appearing in the WP Reader. So….I thought rather than stressing about writing lots of new posts and scheduling them to be published while I am away, I would go back to the archives and look back on some of the blogging “interviews” I have published.

Girl, Woman, Smile, Smiling, Happy

When I look back at these…I smile…because I like me. I am confident about the person I am, the person my parents trained to be. I am happy about the decisions I have made. As for the challenges that came along, which I had no control over – well, I think I dealt with them admirably, and I am grateful for the support I received to endure those times.

So….interviews….video interviews – why should I be daunted by them?

For the next couple of weeks….I am going to re-publish some of my blogging “interviews”….and I hope so much that while you are enjoying a well deserved rest, and hopefully spending time with the people you love most in the world, you remember that life is precious and that we all have an opportunity to make life even more special for those around us.

Treasure life. Treasure love.

As for the challenges that we have no control over – endure them with all the truth and dignity you can – very soon, we will look back on this turbulent period of confusion and stress and we will thrive – thrive and feel alive to the fullest extent. Just a little while longer…