Tag Archives: award

The From The Heart Award

If you are an avid follower of posts from The Haunted Wordsmith you may have noticed her creation of two new blogging awards.  This is the post in which she explains the purpose of these two fantastic new ways to support and encourage other bloggers.


I am privileged to receive one of the first nominations for the FROM YOUR HEART Award.

From the Heart

From the Heart Award

  • This award goes to bloggers who primarily focus on personal writing. These posts are often from the writer to the world at large, or from the writer to the writer themselves and they just allow us access to their mind.


I have loved reading other blogger’s posts.  There are a huge variety of sites out there. There are many that promote a special interest…it is remarkable to see the level of expertise and enthusiasm some bloggers have in their chosen field, whether that be:

GMOs  – Genetic Learning

The wonders of the oceans – Marine Learning

Those blessed with culinary genius – Yum – Tum Bhojana

or those bloggers who are incredibly versatile and write beautifully readable posts about many subjects:




My own blogging site is more of a personal little tribute to my amazing family and friends who have shaped the person I am today.  I have included some embarrassing little lessons I learnt while growing up.  I have also been referring to a traumatic incident which has turned my life upside down in recent years.  At times, I have put my heart down on the page (which is sometimes terrifying because you have no idea what the response will be!)


These three posts are probably those I am most nervous about because they still touch very raw nerves inside:

In the past I have enjoyed creative writing, but at the moment, my posts are more about relating pages of my life in a story-like fashion.

Well, normally these awards have a few questions so you can get to know more about the writer.  No questions came with the nomination.  So I guess anyone who is curious about who is behind the Crushed Caramel (Learner at love) posts will have to take a glance at the posts already on the site.   May I take the liberty of recommending:


When it comes to writing from the heart, I am sure this does not just mean the emotional, sentimental, weepy – run for the box of tissues – kind of writing.  I would like to think that writing from the heart is more about revealing who you are on the inside for all to see.  I found a quote about what the figurative heart really means:

“…the central part in general, the inside, and so for the interior man as manifesting himself in all his various activities, in his desires, affections, emotions, passions, purposes, his thoughts, perceptions, imaginations, his wisdom, knowledge, skill, his beliefs and his reasonings, his memory and his consciousness.”

Thinking of who I would like to nominate, I am recalling posts I have read from other bloggers which really touched my heart when I read them,

I am nominating these three bloggers for the illustrious FROM THE HEART AWARD because they have revealed their heart in a way that would definitely touch their reader’s heart.

Cloud and Sunshine

The Storyteller’s Coven

Atara’s Ideas

So although, this award does not yet include any questions, I would love you to create a post where as well as nominating your own choice of bloggers who write FROM THE HEART, could you also tell us which is your own favourite post from your own site, or the post that tells us the most about who you are on the inside.

Thank you for your very beautiful heartfelt writing.

love heart

My Dusty Flip-Flops Has Nominated Me For The Entertainer Blogger Award! And It’s Not For My Singing…It’s For My Blogging!

pasted image 0


“The Entertainer Blogger Award” is one blogger nominating a fellow blogger whom he or she finds fun, inspiring and entertaining.  As far as I can see, it’s a great way to encourage each other and get to know more about who is behind the posts you are enjoying.

I have been nominate by mydustyflipflops as you can see below in her fascinating post:


My Dusty Flip-Flop is a very lovely traveller who has been to places I would love to go to one day.  I love reading about her travels and seeing her photos.  She is also a very encouraging and supportive blogger.  She is one of the first people who commented on my posts and I am very grateful for her kind comments.


There are some specific instructions in connection with this award:


  • Thank the person who nominated you to add the link to their blog
  • Add the rules so others can follow
  • Answer the same questions
  • Nominate people who you find fun, inspiring and entertaining!
  • Include the graphic in your post



So here we go with the questions:

Why did you start blogging in the first place?

lettersI have been writing and receiving letters and e-mails since I learnt to write.  In fact I  still possess thousands of beautiful letters that I have received over the years.  I also have never deleted a personal e-mail.  I wrote long letters full of personal details and accounts of the antics my family members and friends were involved in.  In recent years many of my friends have said, you should start a blog.  I was not keen on the idea at all, it seemed like a waste of time doing something trivial when I could be spending those precious moments on more important things.

One of my friends, who has a well established blog, set me up on WordPress,  posting some of his favourites from a collection of short stories I had sent him.  I could not believe it when people started reading and sending me lovely comments.  What has encouraged me to keep going is the feedback and encouragement of other bloggers.  I kind of feel as if I am writing to friends that I have recently met.

AmbulanceI have also found it helpful as I had a challenging situation to deal with some time ago.  At the time, I found it overwhelming.  It lead to me going to a park on my own one night instead of going home.  That night, I was the victim of a crime that has temporarily removed me from the life I love. Sometimes I have found it hard to talk about what happened.  But when you write, you can go at your own pace, little by little.   If you have had enough, you can save your words and resume later when you are feeling up to it.  So I have been able to communicate feelings I have not yet done so verbally.

Keep SmilingAt the same time blogging has helped me to reinforce my determination to make life beautiful.  (Reference to one of my favourite films “La Vita È Bella” where a man in a concentration camp for being Jewish tries to keep his family going through their ordeal.)  I want to dwell on all of the wonderful in life…and I want to look forward to the future with a gigantic thirst for life and love.  I try to make sure my site is generous with posts that reflect how joyful life should be despite challenges that may temporarily bruise us.

What is your favourite book?

persuasion     Les Mis     the count of monte cristo

If we are talking about novels, these are my favourite three.  I must admit I am far more comfortable with classic novels in general and I am happy to read my favourites over and over again.

Persuasion by Jane Austin is a favourite because I read it without knowing Jane Austin and without having any idea how it ended.  So the book took me through an emotional roller-coaster and I could not believe the ending.  I also love “North and South” by Mrs Gaskell for that same reason.  I had no idea how it was going to end.  I think I relate to a character who has had their hope destroyed and suddenly quite out of the blue someone turns everything upside down and the pain turns to joy.

Les Miserables, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Muskateers series…when I read these, I feel at times I am sitting on the edge of my seat with the action that throbs through the pages of these books.  Uggggh…would I love to be able to write like that!  To be able to pack that kind of excitement into each chapter.

But the question was not what is my favourite novel, but rather, what is my favourite book?

depressionMy Dadda was lost in his life.  He had made some bad decisions which had consequences that would tie him for the rest of his life.  He was intensely sad.  His father had died in childhood as well as two of his siblings.  He had many questions.  He was disillusioned with those he thought he could get help from.  My Dadda read a book, a book which answered his questions…and it motivated him to change his personality and stop his harmful habits.  He became a loving husband and father.  He is one of many I know who have made changes after reading this book, however, the changes he made directly effected my life as a small child and meant that my parents would ensure I had access to the best education available.

Russian-Bible-photoWell, which is the most popular book of all human history?  Available in thousands of languages, available in the “mother tongue of the vast majority of people today?”  A book that moved brave men and women to risk their lives to make sure that people could read it for themselves in the language of their hearts?  For every good reason!  I have been reading it’s pages since childhood and they are to me quite simply better than gold, or pearls or honey as many  others have said.  I can read it over and over and it still makes me marvel.  I learn more and more. Ingenious…revealing aspects of the human heart in clear light.  One thundering theme…how the original purpose for this earth and the human family will be accomplished…nothing and nobody in the universe can prevent that.

What do you dislike the most?

broad beans

Broad beans…I don’t get on well with broad beans.  I wish I did, because I love my veggies.  Something strange to me about the texture…I just cannot warm to them after many attempts.

However on a far more serious note:

I don’t like what is very obviously nuts…racism, abuse, war, crime.  But what grieves me deeply, is that there seems to be millions upon millions spent on this:

plane dropping bombs

….despite disasters likfaminee this….


No matter how many words are spoken or printed justifying this…they are essentially hot air.  The reality is, things like this are monstrously wrong!  It is just one example of how much we need help.  This world is so upside down…law is numb, life is cheap, love is shallow and self-serving.  There is a definite limit to how long these ridiculous injustices can go on for.  Things will change.  This is not what this planet and our human family were designed for…and I long for the day the whole earth is at peace.

What is your favourite food at the mall?

I am not a frequent visitor of malls or shopping centres as we call them here in England.  Nope, best to avoid places that would make me spend my pennies on fluff and glitter.  Charity shops are my favourite place to shop, except for shoes and underwear (I will buy these brand new and make sure they fit perfectly and are good quality).

lolas cakes

However, when I worked in the infirmary we were sometimes asked to take some of our patients out for the day.  We often went to Brent’s Cross Shopping Centre because of the free parking and other facilities that made life easy for us.

We used to take the ladies to a lovely little spot named Lola’s.  Before 11.30am, if you bought a coffee, you could have a free cup-cake.  The ladies loved it!  The team who worked there were super.  They used to treat the ladies, who were all over ninety years of age, like members of the royal family.  Big thank you to the team at Lola’s Cupcakes.

What is your favourite pastime?

Top of my list is:  Climbing trees!

basketballI like being outdoors.  I love hiking.  I like playing sports….far more than I enjoy watching.  I used to play basketball every Friday evening.  I miss it so much.  I like playing any sport with a lot of running around.  I am not particularly skilled myself, I just love joining in and I can burn off my energy.

My sisters and I were brought up swimming many hours each week – at least ten hours a week we would swim.  We have always had a lot of stamina and energy…but I am really deficient when it comes to hand-eye coordination.  So I try to play in defence.  I am great at running around and getting in the way…but as soon as I manage to win control of the ball I have to pass it to someone else because I am useless.

None-sport related…top choice is karaoke.  Have I won Entertainer Awards for my singing?  You will find out in a future post!




That is quite enough of me.  Let’s get to the exciting bit…

My Nominees:

I have no idea how many bloggers I am supposed to nominate…and I have nominated quite a few already for other awards, so I am going to nominate some of the blogs I have discovered recently and I am loving:

Thegirlwhobakes   https://rimjhimbathla.wordpress.com/

Gbolabo Adetunji  Akosile    https://gbolaboadetunji.blog/

Laleh Chini   https://avoicefromiran.wordpress.com/

averyj0624    https://caffeineandbookmarks.wordpress.com/

GRACELIFECOLLECTIONS    https://gracelife2017.wordpress.com/


There is a world of bloggers out there…it is fun to get to see what other bloggers are coming up with and publishing on their sites.  I am really enjoying this blogging business.  Thank you for all of your support.  I hope you enjoy answering the questions and I look forward to reading your replies.

Have fun…and have a fabulous weekend!


Anexpatshome Has Renominated Me For Another Liebster – I Am Not Sure If This Is Allowed! (But It Is Fun)

I was recently nominated for a Liebster Award…I nominated eleven bloggers including anexpatshome.liebster-award-button

You can read the Liebster Award post anexpatshome published.  I loved reading the answers to the questions I had given my nominees.


I have been renominated for another Liebster Award.  I am not sure if this is allowed according to the rules…however, it is all fun.  So, I am going to gratefully accept the second nomination.

I have copied and pasted the rules outlined in other Liebster Award posts:

  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions your nominator asked.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers.
  • Ask them 11 questions.
  • Let them know you have nominated them

So these are the questions anexpatshome raised to all nominees and my answers:

1. If you could invite any 5 people or things to a dinner, who would that be ? And Why (If you feel like answering)

Oooooh five people or things to a dinner.  That is difficult….because ideally I would want six places for my parents and my younger sisters and their husbands…we are all very close and they make the best company over dinner.  Oh and we would also be needing a high-chair for my niece.

muppetsIf I am restricted to five…well I  was showing Goldfinch a commercial advert for Warburton’s Giant Crumpets the other day…it has the Muppets doing a musical extravaganza.  So so funny.  Can you imagine having dinner with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and Animal?!!!  That would be the experience of a life-time!  I can imagine the conversation being extremely memorable!  Although I really would not want to sit next to Animal.

2. One noble deed that you have done ?

Don’t get me started!  Opportunities have thrown themselves at me over the years due to being involved in voluntary projects.  Noble is normal for many volunteers.  But still some days stand out in my mind…they were just a bit more challenging than a typical day.

I had trained ten young men to be able to work as care assistants working with an older gentleman who had Parkinson’s and associated dementia.  He and his wife really wanted a male care assistant.  So for six months I provided training and prepared all the paper-work required for his care plan.  We had handed his care onto the team of male care assistants who would be co-ordinated by a supervisor.

I was caring for a friend of mine I had known for twenty years.  She had cancer pretty much everywhere you can imagine. I stayed with her the night before she died and then passed over to a couple of great care assistants who would be there during daylight hours with her.  I came back that night. She took her last breaths while we were with her.  After the doctor came to issue the death certificate, we washed her and combed her hair and put on the dress she had asked us to.  Her husband was distraught, so we did our best to support him.  It had happened very quickly.  She had been working full-time six weeks before, and the diagnosis has been a big shock.

Then I received a phone-call to say that not one of the ten young men I had trained had come into work. Either they were ill, or their supervisor could not even get hold of them.  They were not answering their phones.  So after being awake all night and seeing my friend die and trying to be strong for her devastated husband…I had to leave, go and wash thoroughly and go straight to the home of the older gentleman, who was still sitting in his pyjamas when I arrived with his frail wife now very distressed as to why nobody had turned up.

Aaaah sigh!  Lots of people do this as part of their job daily.  I was not paid a penny though.

3. Which crazy thing that you want to do but you know you can never do it ?

Crazy?…define “crazy”.

As a teenager I went through a year or two of making my parents nervous.  Especially when I had a job working for a record company.  I was mixing with some people who were rather bad for me.  But the desire to do anything too crazy left me pretty quickly.  From the moment I stepped onto a construction site and worked as a volunteer for the first time, all my thoughts were being useful.bananaepisode

I have had fun, I am a shameless karaoke singer, and that has taken me to some interesting places.  Wooooh!  That will be a future post.

I have loved singing and pretending to be a pop star from an early age…this is me as a little one with my rock-star sunglasses and leather jacket!  Any visitors to our family home would receive a performance from me singing at the top of my voice and prancing around the living room.  It is something I have not ever really grown out of.  The word KARAOKE is something that captures my attention and fills me with enthusiasm and I have ended up singing in front of hundreds of holiday makers who were cheering me on and calling for more.  (Or them cheering me on may have been in my head…!)

Don’t misunderstand…it’s not that I can actually sing…I just love the fun of it…having no nerves is a great asset when it comes to karaoke…you don’t actually need to be able to hold a tune.  Just go for it!  Shamelessly!  People love a karaoke singer who cannot really sing – you know like Cameron Diaz in that film…I forget which film it was…but you get the idea.

Other than that…something crazy that I can never actually do?  I could say “fly”…so many of us would love to have the sensation of flying on our own through the clouds.  Or wouldn’t it be great to fly just to be able to beat traffic!

4. Your Favourite top 3 movies ?

   finding nemo          la vita e bella         the sound of music

If you came round to our home when my family and I were watching “The Sound Of Music”…you might end up quite traumatised.  We all know the lyrics to the entire score off by heart and would be belting the songs out at the top of our voices!

I make no apologies for my choice of movies!

5. If you could have your own start-up business, what would that be ?

If I was going to be starting up a business I would have to have a partner.  You see I have no extraordinary talents myself, except for admin skills and accounts skills.  I am  bit of a “jack of all trades, master at none”…so I would need someone who had a real talent, or skill, or USP.

Meanwhile I would look after all of the paper work and everything office related.  I am hyper-organized.  If anything stays still for more than two minutes, I either file it, or just put it into numerical or alphabetical order.  I don’t procrastinate, I plough through heaps of administrative tasks.

But on my own, there is nothing I could make a business out of.  Perhaps cleaning.

6. Music Lover or Food Lover or both?

Both I guess.  Both can be very wonderful aspects of life.  But both I limit my indulgence with.

Years ago, when I worked for the record company, I became a bit obsessive about music – it was Britpop back then.  I bought many albums, I saw many bands play live, I listened to their music for hour upon hour…even at night, I would go to sleep with headphones on listening to music.

Not healthy!  Now my music tastes are varied, and I still enjoy music.  But I would never let my enjoyment of music take over like it did when I was a teenager.  I don’t really become a fan of one artist or band.  I can like their song, but often the moment they open their mouths at an interview, I feel disappointed in them.

Food – yes I love it without doubt, but again…I am trying to keep my love of food at bay.  I am trying to eat smaller portions and go for healthier options.  But I enjoy food very much…I love trying new dishes.  I love having dinner with friends and family.  For some reason I don’t feel as close to the friends I have not eaten with.  It’s strange isn’t it.  For some reason, eating together forges bonds.

But I keep telling myself: “Once On The Lips…Forever On The Hips”!

7. One habit that you would love to get rid of ? OR One habit that you would like to develop ?

swimmingHmm…my sisters and I were competitive swimmers for years.  I love swimming.  Being in a pool feels wonderful to me…peace, calm, happy place…and then as I swim up and down for an hour or two I feel adrenaline and power rushing through my limbs.  I am finding it hard with my current schedule to go regularly though.  The habit I would like to make a regular feature of my life is to go swimming at least once a week.

8. What would you prefer? Going back in time and changing something or going ahead in time and exploring your future?

In my case, definitely going back in time.  I would never have gone to the park on my own that night.

But I think I would have gone back further in time.  I still remember the first time I really came into contact with the man who would later become my flat-mate, the man who crushed Caramel.  He joined me and a group of friends for breakfast.  He sat opposite me.  If I could go back to that moment, I think I would have swapped seats with someone, or just walked out so that he did not have chance to dwell on me.

9. Dream Vacation ?

Couple Walking on Beach at SunsetAfter we have finished building a boat, Goldfinch and I set sail away into the deep blue.  We would travel to every port and harbour and we would meet the people who lived locally, taste their cuisine, dance to their music, and explore their culture.  We would visit every land on the planet.  There would also be plenty of swimming and diving when we were out a sea.  We would walk hand in hand along many beaches watching the magnificent sunsets.  There would be no such thing as passports and visas.  Just love!!!

10. Favourite songs (Top 3) ?

Oh that is hard!!!  I am loving classical music at the moment.  I don’t think I could ever tire of some of the pieces on my classical playlist…I like lots of different styles of music, but you cannot really compare.  So I will tell you my three favourite classical arias followed by my three favourite songs from more popular genres:



The three classical arias above are beyond comparison with my other favourites.  They need no introduction or explanation…they are utterly gorgeous!  I am ready to hold my hands up and admit, there is music…and then there is MUSIC.  I love variety though.  If I listened to classical music all day it would drive me crazy!

So these are my three favourite songs from more popular music genres:

  • Sleeper – What Do I Do Now? (This is my go-to song for rainy days…when I have a little heart-break and I need a bit of light rock music to diffuse my distress.)  If rock is not your thing, don’t worry, but the lyrics of this song still make me smile (“Tore up all your photos, didn’t feel too clever, spent the whole of Sunday, sticking you together” – favourite lines!)

The quality of this video is really poor…I found a better one, but it would not let me copy the link.  There must be better quality videos out there?


  • The Righteous Brothers – Unchained Melody (You might be rolling your eyes at me!  The thing is, this song is one of the first songs I remember hearing as a child and being really moved by…I fell deeply in love with the words and the music.  It has been over-played, and even I have to make sure I only listen to it every now and then.  But it still moves me to tears!  I can’t post a version of The Righteous Brothers singing it…even though I love every single second of their recording.  We will have to be content with the Sam Cooke.

  • Cyndi Lauper – I Drove All Night (This brings back many memories of working with an amazing group of house-keepers.  Sometimes there would be a little singing and dancing during a lunch-break.  I remember this song because all the girls loved it and we have all been singing together with fake microphones.  So much fun!  Happy memories!!!)


11. Have you ever been on a vacation, alone ?

Once I turned up at a campsite with my huge back pack and tent.  I had caught the train because there is a direct train all the way from London to the area we were visiting.  The friends who were supposed to be meeting me there for a weekend of camping and BBQ were nowhere to be seen.  I didn’t have any mobile phone signal.  I pitched up my tent and just hoped they would arrive.  It was such a weird feeling, and I was a bit frightened.  Anyway I just sunbathed and read a book and slept and then showered and sunbathed some more and read some more and then went home.

As soon as I was within signal range, I saw all these text messages arrive in my inbox.  They had been stuck in a nightmare traffic-jam on the motorway.  They were less than twenty minutes from home when the traffic came to a standstill, because of a massive pile-up ahead. They were stuck there for eight hours!  They had been trying to contact me but without signal, I was completely unaware of what was going on.  Once they were finally able to exit the motorway, they decided it was best to go home rather than drive for several hours and arrive at the campsite in the middle of the night.  They made the right call, to be sure.  But it was too weird camping all on my own wondering what had happened to my friends.

Most of my vacations have been with a gang of friends.  The last family holiday we had, when I was 17, there were more than forty of us who went together.

Since then I tend to go on holiday with a group of around ten friends.  I have had some very interesting holidays, I will relate some of the opportunities we have had…look out for my post about our holiday in Sweden.  I had more fun there than anywhere else I have visited.


Which brings me to my eleven nominees.  I had previously nominated eleven bloggers I had recently discovered.  I now feel that if I have been nominated twice within a couple of days, I am not worried about nominating bloggers who are clearly more experienced than I and may have been nominated for a Liebster on previous occasions:


My nominees are:

  • MatthewJRichardson   –   https://matthewjrichardson.com/
  • Rosie  –   http://journeyofalifestyle.com/
  • My Dusty Flip-Flops   –   https://mydustyflipflops.wordpress.com/
  • My Sheer Ladybird   –   https://sheerladybird.wordpress.com/
  • Ahotcuppalife   –   https://ahotcuppalife.wordpress.com/
  • L.  Stevens   –   https://everydaystrangeblog.wordpress.com/
  • Nina BW   –   https://gone-roaming.com/
  • Stephen T  –   https://revelationsend.wordpress.com/   (who I would buy a Caramac for if I could!)
  • Daniel Thomas   –   https://thesanguinelife.com/
  • Ruby  –  https://historianruby.com/

And last, but not least, the very supportive and the phenomenally productive

My eleven nominees I have chosen because right from the start they were there in the Daily Post Provisions, Community Pool and First Fridays – supporting newbie bloggers and giving out great tips.  I was so very glad and grateful for the advice and encouragement I read in their comments (sometimes to other bloggers).  I think I would have given up long ago if it was not for that positive feedback and some help in how to make my site a bit more appealing.

They all have fantastic posts on their own sites, so you are very wise to take a look at what they have published.

My questions to my eleven nominees are:

  11. 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.


If you have already been nominated for this award many times before or don’t have time to take it up…do not you worry.  This is my way of saying, I love your posts, and appreciate the support, advice and encouragement you have given to me.

Hope you have fun with this…I think that is what it is supposed to be…a bit of fun and encouragement to other bloggers.

I wish you all every success with your own blogging and I hope you can have fun with the Liebster Award.