Suzi’s Saturday Shout Out

One of our fellow bloggers is brightening up the weekend with a great feature that will help us meet more fabulous bloggers. As autumn and winter grip the northern hemisphere there is no shortage of colour in the blogging world, all thanks to Suzi, the creator of My Colourful Life!

Well…you may have already seen it…but I received a SATURDAY SHOUT OUT from Suzi, the creator of My Colourful Life, as you can see from her fabulous post below:

Saturday Shout Out – Crushed Caramel

Don’t you love the graphics! Suzi seems to be very clever when it comes to eye-catching graphics. Thank you for featuring me Suzi. I was so pleased that some bloggers I had never come across before popped by to say hello!

Thank you

Well…have you received a SATURDAY SHOUT OUT yet from the talented Suzi? Send Suzi a message to ask her to include you on the hit list! It’s really easy. Read Suzi’s post below to find out what you need to do:

Saturday Shout Out

Have fun! Help to brighten up our weekends by making sure your blog is featured in Suzi’s SATURDAY SHOUT OUTS during the grey months ahead!

Advertisements

I Think I Am Falling In Love

Now I have not asked her permission, so I am not going to do the whole re-blog thing. I just wanted to mention that I am falling in love with the poetry I read from a blogger I recently started to follow. This is was the poem I read in my WP Reader this morning:

https://whiteravennet.wordpress.com/2019/09/25/everything-poetry/

More To Come!

shes back.jpgI came back from Australia with all these wonderful things I want to tell you about my trip there and my time with Goldfinch, and yet for some strange reason I still have not really sat down to write about what was one of the highlights of my life! I was sooooooo happy there with him!!! It’s all stored up in my mind and heart and I am sure it will eventually leak out into my posts. I think I have selfishly been enjoying the euphoria and contentment he breathed into me, before I share it with the WordPress world. Perhaps in someways in my head, I am still over there with him 🙂

bloggging6Instead something else has been occupying my attention. You may have noticed that I responded to a writing prompt from Kim, the creator of Writer Side of Life. When I first saw Kim’s prompt, I had just a little seed of an idea. I sat down and began what I thought would be a short flash fiction post. You probably know I usually write much more about my personal life than fiction, so it’s always a bit of an experiment.

Well….I now have published over thirty-five parts (I did count accurately yesterday, but I had a really late night and I have forgotten exactly how many posts there are)! The story of Annabelle has a habit of entangling itself with elements of my own personal life. But I have been trying to make her a fictional character as much as possible.

waiting on a benchI have not published anything for the last few days because I really wanted to make sure I concentrated on how to finish this story. I have grown to care so much about that happens to Annabelle. She is not going to have a Disney princess ending, I promise you that. But I am going to finish her story on a positive. Why on earth would we want to read anything with a miserable ending? I now know how it’s going to go! It feels great to know what is going to happen. I have three more posts scheduled for next week. Then I am going to give my attention to the grand finale!

I cannot believe how satisfying it has been to work on a longer fictional project! I know it needs a lot of editing to make it more interesting to a reader who is looking at it with completely fresh eyes and knows nothing about the personal life of Caramel that has inspired much of Annabelle’s tale. I have promised myself that editing my little novelette will be a great project during the cold winter months.

chilled.pngI was very nervous about a long project. Personally I think blogging on WordPress is more suited to shorter posts, entertaining or interesting or just plain delightful posts. I didn’t think anyone would have an interest in me focusing attention a long story about a fictional character. But it turns out that’s what most of us have been reading for donkey’s years!

I had huge encouragement to keep working at it from numerous bloggers, and found the comments from the following bloggers especially encouraging:

Paula Light

Ursula

Tom Burton

Jay-lyn Doerkson

Carol Anne

satisfying.jpg…and I have lost track of how many lovely comments I have received encouraging me to keep on developing Annabelle’s story! But thank you so much to everyone who has given me the impetus to continue. It’s one of the most satisfying things I have done since I started blogging. I am looking forward to tweaking the last few parts so that they nicely tie up the story lines for Annabelle and the other characters in her story.

This was the original writing prompt post from Kim, the creator of Writer Side of Life:

Free Creative Writing Prompts

I chose a prompt under the ROMANCE section: 3. Who is she waiting for? which came with the picture below:

kim's prompt
Photo by Thiago Matosfrom Pexels 

These are the parts of Annabelle Riley’s story that I have already published, and there are more to come (you will be glad to know the end is in sight!)

Lagging Behind

way behind.pngI am afraid that I might be upsetting a few of the bloggers who have kindly supported my posts. Perhaps I am coming across as neglectful or indifferent about other wonderful bloggers. So this post is to ask anyone who thinks I am overlooking them and not being courteous as a blogger to drop me a message to tell me. (lol – I may live to regret it! I am not asking for those messages where you demand that I follow your blog!!!) I am feeling as if I have totally fallen behind with all aspects of blogging due to my trip to Australia. Now, that is not something I worry about too much, because frankly, blogging is supposed to be fun. I am not going to beat myself up too much.

blogging3But I can see a considerable number of likes and follows from bloggers I do not recognise at all. So I wanted to say right now that I am a not a great blogger at all, I admit. I like to work on posts, some in response to prompts and some just about putting my own thoughts into words, but I am not in this for numbers or statistics. I don’t have any ambitions whatsoever regarding my blogging or writing in general.

However, I don’t want to appear rude or ungrateful for the support I have received and all of the lovely interaction with other bloggers which has made it so enjoyable. I have been following some bloggers for a long time, mainly because I like them, sometimes I like them more than I like the content of their posts in truth. I also follow a huge number of foodie bloggers because I love seeking out new recipes and I follow travel bloggers because of their beautiful photos and their accounts of places I would love to see for myself one day.

Caramel and GoldfinchIf you are new to Crushed Caramel, I am publishing a mix of posts about my life, family, friends, the man I love (Goldfinch) and the occasional works of fiction or even bad poetry. I try to keep things positive, light-hearted and family friendly.

I have been away in Australia recently (look out for Australia posts in the near future) and I have fallen behind in all aspects of blogging If you have liked or followed my posts in the last few weeks and you think I am being discourteous in not returning the support, please let me know, because I am finding it hard to keep up at the moment. Just say “Oy Caramel” and drop a link to one of your posts or something.

blogging5I certainly do not automatically follow everyone who likes or follows my posts. My WP Reader would be a nightmare if I did. And if I can see that you publish twenty posts everyday there is no way I am going to follow you. But I like bloggers who are nice people and I like to see posts that are happy, positive, interesting, fun, creative, thought-provoking, beautiful etc. So if you are one of those lovely types who wants to contribute to a friendly blogging community and who writes posts that make readers feel good about being alive, then oh definitely do drop me a link to your posts.

Getting To Know You

I have been tagged by Nova, the creator of My Namastè 365 Online to take part in a fun challenge – the GETTING TO KNOW YOU challenge – as you can see from Nova’s post below:

Getting-To-Know-You Challenge

Oh…and since I have been working on this post, Kristian has also nominated me:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2019/01/28/getting-to-know-you-some-questions-from-laura/

The GETTING TO KNOW YOU challenged is the creation of Laura Venturini as you can see from her post below:

The “Getting to Know You” Challenge

getting to know you

Rules:

  1. Copy and paste the rules and the questions
  2. Tag at least two people to take the challenge.
  3. Use the “Getting to Know You” pic and pingback to this post.

Questions:

Name a moment in your life when you felt you were most courageous.

Courageous? I have had to do things I found very difficult. There have been some moments in my life that called for extraordinary courage, but I find it hard to write about some of them…I think I would need to write an entire post to explain what happened.

I think being with people who were dying, watching them take their last breaths was hard, especially the very first time. I realized though, that I needed to be courageous. We were always told that hearing is the last sense that remains. I have found the words, the most wonderful words when needed. I don’t know how it happens, but it always seemed that the perfect words to say to make sure the person felt safe and treasured right to the end came into my head.

Showsec staff in the new uniformsOne day I was working as a steward at an event with around 15,000 people in attendance. We were informed that due to a package that had been identified in the area I was working in, the were going to evacuate the entire venue. I had to stand at my post as we had been trained and direct those who were sat in my section. My stomach was in nervous knots because you don’t know what is going to happen. Of course after the crowds were safely evacuated then we too were directed to depart immediately. Specially trained Showsec staff consulted with the police, the bomb disposal unit. I should write about that day…it was all quite a saga. I will say this…those 15,000 people who departed within eight minutes were wonderfully co-operative.

IMG_20180722_123051 (2)I think it was courageous in many ways to start a relationship with Goldfinch who was a total stranger to me. Every other relationship I had before was with someone I had known for some time. But I trusted Goldfinch. I am so glad I had the courage to trust him, because he has been wonderful for me and he has left me with something very special to remember him by.

If you had to choose only one breakfast cereal for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

Such a hard question. I love variety – so only one cereal would be difficult. There is a cereal that I really love. I only buy it occasionally…it is too expensive to buy regularly.

It is called Scrumshus Granola (the Premium Granola – an everyday luxury made with honey and pure maple syrup) and it is yummy!

When have you felt the most scared?

There have been a number of occasions I felt very scared.

Of course what comes straight into my mind is the realization that I was in danger that night in the park. I am going to copy and paste an excerpt from another post I published last year, because I don’t want to relive that memory right now:

When I arrived in the park there were joggers, dog-walkers, cyclists.  A man sat next to me on the bench.  A complete stranger.  It was him.  I was not afraid at first, I was too caught up in my despair.  But I do remember what happened when I stood up with the sudden awareness that now it was dark and there were no joggers, dog-walkers, cyclists anywhere I looked.  I had decided I should not be there.  I said it out loud.  I actually said, “I should go home.” 

Then I was on my feet, trying to walk quickly. It was so dark and I could not make out tree roots and bushes. It felt as if I was floating. The strength of his hands on my shoulders pulling me to the ground. I have never felt so utterly powerless.

I try not to think about him. I do not think about him. What he did was terrible. But he did not get under my skin, into my head, he did not oppress my heart. It was awful, but it was momentary and it has not haunted me like Jack has. Despite what he did that night, the damage was already done. Caramel was already crushed long before that night.

Now I am going to take you forward several hours.  A security guard had found me…he had found me left in bushes with obvious injuries.  He had called an ambulance.

Yes, I felt fear in my gut like never before.

If you could sing like any musical artist, who would you choose?

I would love to sing like one of those amazing opera singers. They are all amazing to me…but I am going to chose Elīna Garanča a mezzo-soprano. This beautiful beautiful piece is “Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour” (the Barcarolle) from Offenbach’s “The Tales Of Hoffman”:

Aren’t they wonderful?!!!

Do you collect anything?

I don’t think I do now, unless you count fancy cleaning products.

I used to collect pictures to make collages with. I had a huge box with pictures of animals and sunsets and flowers that I used to use to decorate notebooks and make letter writing materials with. It was too expensive to keep buying pretty stationery so I started making my own with coloured paper and my picture collection.

IMG_20181125_161458

If you could live inside a TV show or movie, what would it be?

I don’t watch much television. But I do quite like the BBC show “Death In Paradise”. My sister has the DVD collection of every series since it began. I watched the series last year and the new series has started again recently on BBC One every Thursday at 9pm.

It is a detective show set in the Caribbean. But it isn’t like one of those scary, violent gory shows. It is very easy to watch and seems to follow a similar formula each episode. There is usually a death at the start and for the rest of the episode you find out all about the connections three or four suspects had with the victim whilst the detective and his team try to deduce who could have committed the crime, how and why?

I would like to be in the show…sunbathing in the background, swimming in the sea, and having nothing to do with the crime-scene. Do you think you can make a living from being an extra on a show like that?

Have you ever had a reoccurring dream? If so, what was it?

I don’t often dream because I sleep very heavily. But I have found myself dreaming about my ex-neighour Jack. The dreams are different, but in every dream I find myself frightened, embarrassed, humiliated and distraught over Jack’s behaviour towards me. I wrote about one of my dreams recently:

lion portrait on blackWhen I was very young child, I used to dream about a bright blue lion that chased us and we were all hiding with our neighbour’s children from the blue lion.  One by one the lion caught them.  The only way I escaped is by walking upside on the ceiling and then climbing out onto the roof.

But I have not had that dream since childhood.

What is my start sign?

I don’t understand this question, but I have always quite liked Orion.

I often see it when I come back to the little nest late at night.

_____________

Well thank you Nova, I enjoyed answering the GETTING TO KNOW YOU questions!!!

So now it is my turn to tag some other bloggers for the GETTING TO KNOW YOU challenge:

 

Glen McKenzie Has Nominated Me For The Liebster Award

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:

https://justabitfurther.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/first-liebster-award/

Rules

  • 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?

salted caramel muffinIt 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.

platonic.jpgWe 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.

Joyful

Sisterly

Content

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Besides Goldfinch?

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?

Super Sparrow Sports Water Bottle - 350ml & 500ml & 1000ml - Non-Toxic BPA Free & Eco-Friendly Tritan Co-Polyester Plastic - Fast Water Flow, Flip Top, Opens With 1-ClickI 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!)

Two BeesThere 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.
  • ironingI 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

  1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BLOGGING FOR?
  2. FANCY DRESS PARTIES – WHAT HAVE YOU DRESSED UP AS?
  3. WHICH SONGS WOULD YOU SING IN THE SHOWER WHEN YOU THINK NOBODY CAN HEAR?
  4. IS ANYONE ELSE IN YOUR FAMILY A BLOGGER OR VLOGGER?
  5. DO YOU EVER FEEL DISCOURAGED ABOUT BLOGGING?  WHAT DO YOU DO TO KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED?
  6. WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MEMORY OR EXPERIENCE?
  7. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE TV DETECTIVE?
  8. 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.

My Eight Nominees

The Brilliant Tom Burton Has Nominated Me For The Sunshine Blogger Award…Again

Tom Burton, the creator of Slumdog Soldier, has very kindly thought of me again and included me in his list of nominees for the Sunshine Blogger Award:

https://slumdogsoldier.wordpress.com/2018/11/28/sunshine-blogger-award-2/

sunshine blogger award 3

As you can see from Tom’s post, The Sunshine Blogger Award has some rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them. -THANK YOU AGAIN TOM!
  • 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.

Tom’s Questions For his Nominees:

Where are you from?

I am originally from the North of England.  I grew up on the outskirts of Liverpool. We were actually almost equal distance between Liverpool and Manchester. But it was Liverpool people that lived there. Our family home was on a council estate. It almost felt like a giant Butlins camp – poor quality housing and loads of kids running round. There were lots of families in the town, because it was built in the 1960/70s as an overflow for Liverpool. Lots of families moved in as the houses were so much more affordable.

The North-West of England has a lot of industrial towns and I used to feel overwhelmed with the urban industrial scenes I saw regularly. Some parts of our town were dilapidated, some vandalized and littered. I always wished I lived somewhere that felt more picturesque and cleaner. However, our town was surrounded by beautiful countryside and farms. I started to explore the countryside around our town in my late teens, and realized how very beautiful it was. Just a few minutes walk from our family home was almost like paradise.

When I left home, I moved into a very rural area, right out in the sticks, on the outskirts of Newbury. I lived on a very grand country estate, which was very picturesque and had been around for hundreds of years. The countryside around was as beautiful as the Lancashire countryside.

Currently I live in London. I have lived in several different parts of London. I live in an area now that feels fairly safe. There is a large green park at the end of my road. I could not survive in London if it were not for the green parks that are dotted around. Around the corner from my little nest, there are many restaurants and shops. It can be very busy here, especially at the weekend. But it is very quiet for me down here in my little abode.

Do you think of yourself more as an early bird or night owl?

Neither really, not now. I used to be a morning person before I received severe head injuries.

Since my head injuries – mornings are horrible! HORRIBLE! Until my pain-killers kick in, I am a wreck. I mentioned in another post that for a long time I have been able to just take pain killers once a day, first thing in the morning, which I am pleased about.

I do try to set an alarm to get up in the morning and get myself vertical so that the pain eases off. Once I am vertical my brain seems a lot happier.

However, neither am I a night owl. I am normally pretty shattered by the time I reach the little nest after a busy day out and about in London. I long to be in bed of an evening. I love the feeling of slipping into bed and drifting away into sleep.

The only problem is that during the night the pain in my head starts to build up and then I have to face the morning pain again.

So I guess afternoons are my best time now. I probably get the most done during the afternoon whether I am at home or at work. I am pain free and I feel more awake and energetic.

What is your birthstone?

What is a birthstone?

Ooooo-er I am not sure how to answer this as I am not sure what the question means. You are going to have to help me out with this one. I have just read another blogger’s post where they said their birthstone was a ruby. However, they did not explain what that meant. I do like sapphires and diamonds. But that is mainly because I like blue…and sapphires look amazing with diamonds.

Birthstone…???

Well, I have never given birth…so if we are talking about some kind of milestone for mothers, I don’t qualify for that question.

What’s your favourite season of the year and why?

Summer!

I love summer because I am very much an outdoors person. So I live more in the summer. I love summer flavours. I love being out in the fresh air in the countryside, soaking up the colours. I love blue skies and lush green foliage and a rainbow of flowers.

What’s a favourite quote that’s really inspired you?

I am a big believer that love should be not just an internal sentiment, but an action!

If you could choose one fantasy world to visit for a day, which one would it be?

I don’t watch or read much fantasy. I enjoy fictional stories, but i like them set in the real world, rather than a fantasy world.

But I mentioned in another post recently that as a child I thought it would be nice to visit the inside of Willy Wanka’s chocolate factory. I thought it would be fun if everything was a delicious sweet to eat.

Nowadays, if I could go anywhere, it would be  a part of this amazing planet we live on, which I think is probably far better than anything we could imagine ourselves. I find this planet makes me incredibly excited and inspires within me a huge desire to explore.

I dream of exploring the ocean. I have always been fascinated by the oceans and would love to be able to study the ocean, especially whales. A day would not be enough, rather, I would need many years out at sea.

I am also fascinated by caves. Have you heard of the Chandelier Ballroom in Lechugilla? That would be extraordinary to visit for a day.

How do you like to wind down after a busy day?

If I am on my own, then I just make a snack to eat. I don’t normally cook when it is just me. But my fridge always has salad, home-made hummus, pesto, fresh pasta and home made veggie soups. I always have a variety of different crispbreads in the cupboard. I have avocados too. So it is easy and quick to rustle up a snack for myself. I don’t like having a heavy meal in the evening.

Then I have a shower and head for bed. Often the phone rings and I have to climb out of bed. But it is normally a very welcome call from a friend or family member.

What would your dream job be?

construction clothesI have always loved working on construction sites. I find ground-works hard going now though. You have to be strong for all the heavy work. When I was younger I loved digging trenches and helping to prepare the footings for a concrete foundation. But just the thought of that right now makes me feel tired! I love roof tiling and plaster-boarding. I love all the work painting and decorating too.

lawn mowerI love working outdoors. I have worked as a gardener and I loved it, but I needed a lot of supervision because I didn’t have much knowledge. I became quite the expert with the drive-on lawn mower. But I would love to have proper training as a gardener, so that I had more confidence.

What I think I would love to do as a job / way of life is mix of caring for animals, cultivating various vegetables and fruit, cleaning, all the aspects of laundry, property maintenance, making my own furniture, cooking and baking with the produce of the harvest and just anything that needed doing. Practical tasks are so satisfying and rewarding. But I would not want to work for a profit, not from a business motive. I would love to play my part in looking after the part of the planet I dwell in, making everything beautiful and caring for it.

Why did you start blogging?

lettersI have been writing long letters and e-mails to friends since I can remember. So I think that letter writing, with a personal touch to people I care about, is a life-long habit.

love letterBut it was Stuart who kept on saying I should start blogging. I didn’t know what blogging was at that point. Stuart helped me a lot. More than I think he realizes. This may sound strange, but I moved to this part of London to be nearer to Stuart, but it did not work out. I think timing had a lot to do with it. I still was struggling with men after being attacked. I feel bad, but at the end of the day, I was not the one who pulled out, Stuart was. I wanted it to be him that made me happy to be a woman. But I think at the time it was too much pressure for both of us.

platonicSome time later a friend, who has been blogging for a long time, helped me to set up this site on WordPress. He suggested publishing some of the stories I had of how I have embarrassed myself over the years. He thought “lessons in life” could be the main theme of my site. I think from the start I knew I wanted to write about the events that had crushed me in previous years. But I also felt strongly that it would be exhausting for me and readers if every post was about challenges. I didn’t want anyone to think of Crushed Caramel as depressing, negative laments. I wanted to enjoy blogging and I really wanted others to enjoy what I came up with.

I am really thrilled that the writing prompts and challenges created by other bloggers have given me many opportunities to produce light-hearted fun posts that balance out my site. I feel better about having the occasional post about some of the things that have made me heavy-hearted at times.

What have you enjoyed most about blogging so far?

I think I feel the same as many other bloggers. The support and encouragement from other bloggers has been an unexpected and wonderful surprise. It makes blogging so enjoyable!

Which of your own blog posts would you recommend to new readers first?

RiverMy own favourite post is a poem I wrote twenty years ago:

But I think I have mentioned that before.

So I think one of my other favourites was a post I wrote in the summer just before I started my new job:

There is a post in my drafts folder that I intend to finish at some point on why everyone says I am a mix between Maria Von Trapp and Bridget Jones.

 

Although if you have been reading my posts for a while, you may have already figured that out!

My Eleven Questions For My Nominees:

  1. IF YOU AND I WERE GOING TO DANCE TOGETHER – WHAT SONG WOULD IT BE TO?
  2. HAVE YOU MADE ANY CONFESSIONS IN YOUR BLOGGING POSTS ABOUT MOMENTS OF MADNESS IN YOUR LIFE OR TIMES YOU WERE ALMOST IN TROUBLE WITH THE AUTHORITIES? (I know that some of my nominees have shared a long list of their confessions already, so please do pick the most outrageous!)
  3. WHAT IS THE MOST UNUSUAL OR MEMORABLE DISH YOU HAVE EVER EATEN?
  4. ARE THERE CHARACTERS FROM ANY MOVIES OR NOVELS THAT YOUR FRIENDS COMPARE YOU TO?
  5. ARE THERE ANY QUALITIES YOU ADMIRE IN OTHER PEOPLE AND WISH YOU HAD TO A GREATER EXTENT?
  6. HAVE YOU ANY EXPERIENCE OF ACTING, SPEAKING, SINGING OR DANCING ON A STAGE?
  7. APART FROM REMOVING ANY PARTICULAR POLITICIANS, IS THERE ANY ISSUE OR PROBLEM IN THIS WORLD THAT YOU FEEL PASSIONATELY YOU WOULD LIKE TO CHANGE?
  8. IF I WERE TO MAKE YOU YOUR DREAM CAKE – WHAT WOULD THAT CAKE BE?
  9. WHAT WOULD YOU LOVE TO SEE ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE NEWSPAPERS TOMORROW MORNING? (other than than any particular politician being abducted by aliens)
  10. HAVE YOU EVER HAD AN INTERNET ROMANCE OR AN INTERNET CRUSH YOU WERE TO SHY TO CONFESS?
  11. YOU ARE ON MY LIST OF NOMINEES BECAUSE YOU CONSISTENTLY MAKE YOUR POSTS INTERESTING, YOU ARE FULL OF PERSONALITY AND YOU SUPPORT THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY SO MUCH – BUT TELL ME, ARE YOU LIKE THIS IN REAL LIFE?

My Nominees:

aguycalledbloke aguycalledbloke – A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

Fandango Fandango – This, That, and The Other

The Haunted Wordsmith The Haunted Wordsmith