Ursula’s Questionnaire

Ursula, the creator of An Upturned Soul has put together a questionnaire, as explained in her posts below:

https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/a-questionnaire/

https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/a-questionnaire-my-answers/

 

question marks.jpg

I have tried to answer the questions, although I think some of my answers are a bit confusing. Halfway through I started worrying this was a psychoanalysis kind of test – and I have no idea what a psychologist would make of my answers!

1 – What is your favourite word?

UNSCRUPULOUS

– it’s not the meaning I like, it’s the sound of the letters. Every time I hear it or say it, I instantly think of flapjack. I have no idea why – but since the first time I heard that word the thought and taste of oats and seeds and fruit baked in syrup came into my head.

2 – What is your favourite curse word?

I don’t use curse words or swear words. I might say AY KARUMBA! as an exclamation of surprise or frustration.

3 – What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

That’s a good question. I am not sure I know the exact answer.

I don’t think I quite understand my own potential for creativity, never mind anyone else’s. But I do think it is healthy to be able to express yourself in a form like art, poetry, writing or in some other creative form.

Spiritually – I am fascinated by what people believe and why. I love having conversations with friends and workmates about spiritual subjects. I listen very respectfully, even if I don’t necessarily think what I am hearing sounds reasonable. But for myself, my own beliefs need to hold water under test. They have to make sense. I have to be able to explain them logically. I can’t just go with my feelings or sentimental preferences. I do believe in a Creator – I find it hard to understand how any physicist could explain the incredible order, countless manifestations of mathematical genius, and clear laws that are a hallmark of our universe, from the tiniest particle to the largest celestial bodies. But I had to find answers to a whole bunch of other questions before I was satisfied.

balanced.jpg

Emotionally – balance. I love positive emotions and the positive actions they prompt – concern and unselfish kindness, respect and honour, a desire to do good. But with any person I spend a significant amount of time with, I pick up on whether they are balanced emotionally. I know some people that I love very much, that cause me concern. I think some of them are headed for a nervous break-down. They don’t seem to realize it. They are trying so hard to be what they think they should be, but I can see the signs of chronic stress. They say and do things that are not balanced, are not reasonable. I keep my eye on my friends who I feel might not understand what they are doing to their emotional health. I don’t want them to crash. But sometimes it’s only after a crash that a person finally starts to understand their own emotions.

4 – What sound or noise do you love?

There are so many I like…

  • waveswaves upon the shore
  • birdsong early in the morning
  • a bottle cap being released from a glass bottle
  • harp music – I have a good friend who plays the harp
  • Goldfinch making sounds of contentment

5 – What natural gift would you most like to possess?

picking fruitA natural gift?

There are things I would love to be able to do. I have this vision of waking up on a beautiful morning and going out of the house into a garden. I see myself picking vegetables and fruit and herbs.

Then I would take them inside and use them to make beautiful dishes which will feed my family later. My way of life now, in a busy area of London makes me feel disconnected from the natural world. I will hunt for a recipe and go to the supermarket and buy the ingredients. Then I am glued to every step of the recipe as I am cooking. I wish I could have a way of life where I was closer to the natural world. I would love to cultivate crops and know all about them and understood so much more about vegetation. I would love to be creative in cooking – rather than being glued to a recipe.

But that is only for myself. In this day and age, I wish that as I was walking through the busy streets of London – I wish I could tell if I was passing someone who was close to broken. I believe I pass thousands of people a day. I wish I knew which of them were at breaking point. I try to smile at everyone passing, but if only I knew who was desperate for some human kindness just to give them a little strength to get through the day.

6 – What is your principal defect? List the pros of having this defect and give it a positive spin (imagine that you’re selling it to someone else)?

me at 9I have defects aplenty  – chubby face, too many wobbly bits for my liking, clumsy feet. I have learnt to accept them over the years. But I am happy with my physical body overall. This is me at around the age of ten or eleven – I still have the same face. But my chubby face always looks as if  am smiling, so I have learnt to like my face.

bottling things upPersonality-wise I have plenty of defects too. I sometimes bottle things up. In the past that did me a lot of damage. But I realize that I have a number of times in my life put up with a situation for a long time, without saying how it made me feel, until suddenly I decided enough is enough – and then I just vanish when I cannot take anymore. But I am happy with who I am, at least the person I aim to be each day.

7 – What is your motto? Why is it your motto? Where or who did it come from originally?

I don’t think I have my own motto – but I often think of the mottoes from others who I respect greatly:

  • PiggyOnce on the lips forever on the hips
  • People don’t care how much you know, they want to know how much you care
  • If you don’t have something kind to say, then don’t say anything at all
  • Try to take things on the chin with a grin
  • It’s often the good deeds you do in silence without anyone else even realizing that count the most

8 – What was the last gift you gave someone?

Chocolates

I am not very creative with gifts – once in a blue moon perhaps I will think of something amazing. But to most people I would give something edible, something I already know they like.

The first gift I ever bought for Goldfinch were jars of chutneys. He wanted to buy some chutneys when we visited a National Trust shop, but they didn’t have what he was looking for. So I found a gift set of chutneys and sent them to him.

9 – You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why? Describe the colour to somebody who is blind.

A new addition. I guess since I like blues and greens it would be somewhere in between. Some shade of the ocean.

I have one friend who has now completely lost the sight in both eyes. But he only started to lose his sight in his teens, so he remembers colours. I  knew what he would appreciate some assistance with at times, without in any way undermining his desire to be independent.

How would I describe a colour to someone who had so little sight that colour is a strange concept? – I don’t know. I have spent years as a sign language interpreter and have many friends who are deaf. I am very aware of how they might think and communicate.

But I have little experience of working with anyone who has been effected by blindness since birth. When I was at primary school we were taught that blues were cool colours and they have a calming refreshing effect. So I might ask someone who is blind and has never physically seen the colour blue to think of a cool breeze and how it feels to be at peace and calm. I have no idea if that would help or baffle them???

10 – What are you known for?

It depends who you are asking. But I think if you asked my employers they would say faithful and reliable. I also like to leave things clean and tidy for my colleagues. I turn up on time and do my work well and go home.

I like to ask questions to learn about people. I get people talking. I like listening to them. This is what I do. And yet all my friends say that I have amazing life stories. Which always seems funny to me, since I always make sure I get other people talking and try not to dominate conversations even though I am rarely lost for words.

I do have a lot of stories of my family, my travels, my friends, the different people I have worked with, the projects I have worked on, the places I have been…I am never ever short of experiences to relate. But I want to hear the stories other people have.

11 – What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume (or online bio/profile) alone?

I think what amazes a lot of people is that I worked full-time for five years without any wages.

People ask how? I was provided with accommodation, meals, and there was a room where we could go and see the donated clothing and if anything fit us we could keep it. We could not abuse that provision because we didn’t have a lot of storage space. Happiest time of my life – itching to get back there.

12 – What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?

The last thing I watched on television was an episode of Masterchef.

I chose it because I love seeing the the dishes the contestants come up with. I think they are super. I am impressed by the contestants and I like the judges and the feedback they give. Its clear that the contestants do learn new skills and grow in confidence.

13 – How would you convince someone to do something they didn’t want to do?

It depends on what it is. I believe in free will. So there would have to be a very good reason for me to try to persuade someone to do something they did not want to.

reasoning (2)I would ask if they understand the choice before them. What are the consequences of doing or not doing this thing. I would reason with them and try to use logic with regards to the cost of either decision.

I may use some emotive terms to motivate them. Not to force them, but some people hear the good that may come from a good decision and they don’t care. I might try to encourage them to care. I had to talk to patients about changing their lifestyle habits when I worked within the medical field and in the post below I give an example of how we had to try to convince others to make healthy choices:

But they have to make their own mind up in the end. I could not force them to do something they didn’t want to. It’s pointless for someone to feel under duress and pressured against their will. People make their own decisions and they are accountable for the consequences.

14 – You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?

What kind of elephant is it? Is it an African elephant or an Asian elephant?

Well, either way,  London is not the best place for an elephant. So if the elephant is now my responsibility, I guess I would have to figure out a way to get both myself and my elephant over to somewhere more suitable. I think I could lead a contented life and adapt and still thrive…more than an elephant having to live in a sweet little basement flat in London.

15 – We finish the interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?

If I saw a lottery ticket on the floor, I would likely walk past it or put in the bin.

If I for any reason realized I had in my possession someone else’s winning lottery ticket, I suppose I would take it to the police and ask them if they know what to do with it. I would not want anything to do with it.

no gamblingI am opposed to gambling in any form, after the damage it did to my father when he was a young man. He was able to stop gambling before he married my mother and before I was born. But he had to spend years paying off debt and caring for a family of seven children at the same time.

16 – Teach me something I don’t know in the next five minutes (in your reply to this question).

I don’t know what you don’t know…so I will have to teach you something that you would only know if you knew me.

I guess I would explain the nature of my head injuries and the problems they still cause me three and a half years later. It would be helpful if you knew what to do if I have a black-out or if I have breathing difficulties. I would tell you everything you would need to tell paramedics if you need to call an ambulance, and tell you which of my friends you could call who have a key to my place and would pick up my overnight case for hospital visits.

Additional challenge questions from Ursula:

Which of these questions was your favourite and why?

I liked Question 4 – What sound or noise do you love?

What did you learn about yourself while reading the questions?

I realized that while I was trying to answer Question 9, that I have not spent enough time working with those who have been blind from birth. I don’t think I really appreciate what it must be like to make sense of a world if you have never had sight.

What did you discover about yourself while answering the questions?

Erm…is that almost the same question?

me at 6It did cross my mind as I was answering these questions, that the answers I gave you are probably the same answers I would have given you ten years ago, and probably the same answers I would have given you ten years before that. I think the major parts of my character were settled very early in life. All the people and experiences I have known since then, have enriched the strong foundation and framework my parents established. Apart from Question 16, because in June it will be four years since I received those head injuries that have had an impact on my heart.

If you checked out the original questionnaires, which of the questions that I left out would you have liked to have answered and why?

I did look at the questionnaires you sourced the questions from and I think Ursula, you made a great pick of those questions. I also liked some on the list from Marcel Proust’s Questionnaires – at age 13

  • What is your idea of earthly happiness?
  • Who are your favourite fictional heroes?
  • Who are your favourite characters in history?
  • Who are your favourite heroines in real life?
  • Who are your favourite fictional heroines?
  • What quality do you most admire in a man?
  • What quality do you most admire in a woman?
  • What is your favourite virtue?
  • What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

I had originally included this question from the interview questionnaire – What’s your favourite ’90s jam?:

I listened to a massive array of music in the ’90s around the time I was working for a record company. There were so many songs that came into my head when I saw you had mentioned Blur – Song Two. I really don’t know what to pick off the Britpop spectrum other than the obvious Oasis, Blur and Pulp. There were so many…but here are four of the songs I remember loving performed live.

The Auroral Wondering Belle Has Nominated Me For The Sunshine Blogger Award

What do I hope for 2019? That spring and summer come quickly and last a very long time!

Every day is going to be a little lighter from this point on. I am so excited that life and colour and warmth will soon start to return. Looking forward to being back in shorts and sandals.

To brighten up the winter, there are nomination posts in my drafts folder that need to be completed. The first I wanted to work on was another dose of glorious sunshine.

I have been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by wonderingbelles wonderingbelles, the creator of Wondering Belle’s Blog as you can see from her post below:

The Sunshine Blogger Award

…and I loved her questions. I made a start on this post before I went away during the holidays and it is time to finish it and polish it up before I publish it.

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them – Thank you Belle!
  • 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 on one of their own posts.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

Belle’s Questions For Her Nominees

What makes you the happiest about your blog?

Well…there came a point when I started to feel that this blog could be something special for my family to enjoy at a later date. I would like it to be a gift to my family at a later date. Even though, they do not yet know anything about it, thinking of my family as my target audience has been the governing influence on my posts for some time now. It makes me very happy to think of them reading in the future and deriving some comfort and enjoyment out of silly things I have written.

When I first started this site, I was not sure whether anyone at all would look at my posts,  I was frankly amazed by the response. The lovely comments and interaction with other bloggers has been an unexpected bonus. However, I think I would have run out of steam some time ago if it wasn’t for the change in my motive to continue writing and creating posts.

I have had problems ever since I received head injuries over three years ago and even this year I have been rushed through accident and emergency a few times due to some of my more worrying symptoms. There came a point when I was struck by the thought that it would be really nice for my family to be able to have this site if anything happens to me. My family know I have been writing stories in my free time, but they don’t know about this site yet. I am not sure when and how I am going to introduce it to them, but I want it to be there for them so that at any time in the future they can look at posts and I don’t know, I guess draw some enjoyment from them.

What is your all time top goal?

I used to have a goal. It was to become a full-time international volunteer. I reached that goal eight years ago. It took over thirteen years of disciplining myself and sticking to a demanding schedule and living on a pittance. It was like climbing Mount Everest. But I made it…I was one of a very small number of single women who have ever been invited to take up a post like the one I was.

However three years ago, I was the victim of a crime that caused me serious physical injuries and emotional trauma. I had to take almost a year out to recover. For the past two and a half years I have been back in London and working, trying to rebuild my stamina and strength. I would love to return to my life, my home, my career as an international volunteer. It feels like a long way off though.

Sometimes my ultimate goal of returning to my career and life, seems so far off. Even though sometimes I feel dispirited and despondent about whether I will ever make it back where I belong…I still believe that having that as a goal is a huge protection to me. It prevents me from setting my sights on worthless, meaningless, shallow goals in this money orientated, me-first, world.

I aspire to giving everything I have to build a world that is as beautiful as it should be!

What is one thing on your bucket list?

I don’t have a bucket list for myself really. Staying alive is the main focus now, and making each day count.

I would love to live to see the human family living in harmony with this beautiful planet and other creatures. I would love to see tears of sorrow wiped away from people’s eyes and heavy hearts, and instead tears of joy and merry hearted, happy, healthy people who are truly at peace in every possible sense of the word!

Where would you suggest someone go visit?

Ooooh – it depends how long for and whether you are a townie or a country bumpkin.

If it is for a weekend and you want to see everything a city offers and see gorgeous historical buildings and eat in charming cafes, then I tell my mates here in London to pop over to Bruges in Belgium. Lovely for a weekend getaway.

If it is just for the day…I recommend Eskdale in the Lake District – head to Wastwater and climb Skafell Pike or Great Gable.

I love Eskdale…many camping trips and a lot of fell-walking with friends and family for many years.

I don’t know why I thought it would be good for a day trip…spend a whole weekend there.

What do you think would make a difference to this world?

I have read a lot about why there is so much trouble in the world, from many sources. I agree with those who point to the need for a huge change of rulership. I don’t think humans are capable of governing themselves. We are not designed to be independent. It is like small children telling their parents they don’t need them or their rules.

Every conceivable form of government has been tried. Monarchies, dictatorships, autocracy, democracy, communism, capitalism, liberalism, republicanism…it’s all been tried. Our history books may well serve as a lesson learnt for the entire universe in millenniums to come, a judicial statute in a way.

Current governments provide a degree of stability – a framework of law and justice and other provisions which benefit us, but we need help. Too many short-term decisions have been made that have put wealth and power first and have sacrificed quality of life for many humans and have damaged our planet and it’s environment. There is a lot of damage that needs to be repaired.

Although there may have been some genuine, well-motivated politicians with integrity (yes – some of them) they are limited…either because the legal framework limits the duration of their term in office, or because they are ousted by a political rival, or fall victim to sickness or old age. Plus some of those who they work closely with may not be trustworthy. There are many reasons why human rulership fails to satisfy mankind’s basic needs. It’s time to end the chapters on humans dominating each other.

This planet has an abundance of everything we need. It is being mismanaged.

I would love to see a world government supervising and educating all humans to care for this earth properly. A rulership that does not allow monopolies and extreme economic situations. To me, every millionaire probably means more are being deprived of the basics. Millionaires, billionaires are not a success. They are a sign that this economic system is a failure. We need rulers who care nothing for money and wealth, but are genuinely motivated by wanting the very best for this planet and all it’s creatures. A world that values every man and woman and child no matter where they are born.

What is a hobby you wish you had more time to enjoy?

Swimming!

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, at least once a week. I do wish I had more time for swimming.

What is your favourite song right now?

My favourite song change on a daily basis! But right now…I have been singing this all day:

What would you like others to know about you?

Erm…

I am very grateful. I know I don’t own many things and I have very little money. But I feel immensely wealthy. My life is very rich.

…I have a very very wonderful family who gave me a brilliant start in life. I have been trying to make decisions and develop habits that would make them proud and show appreciation for all they taught me.

Have you ever written a book? What is the name of that book if so?

I have not written a book myself. However I have proof-read and assisted in editing an auto-biography for a celebrity.

I have written thousands of letters, e-mails and pages in journals that could fill books.

I filled six journals full of detail about what was going on in the lives of me and my friends for a very close friend of ours who was intensely ill for six months. We thought we were going to lose her. When she came round and her health recovered, I gave her the journals I had kept with her in mind. They were full of photos and pictures and detailed accounts of what had been happening. It was a big help to me at the time to keep my mind positive. But when she received them and read them, she was blown away by what I had done. She told me years later how much she treasured them.

I have been writing a special book for my niece since she was born. She is far too young fr me to think about giving it to her yet. She would probably tear it to shreds! It is very much a token of love and special thought for her. It will be a special day when I can give it to her. I shall go and take a picture so you can see what I have been up to!

 

The book is mainly full of pictures and a little writing. There are lots of pictures of animals, fish, birds and of Wales. There are family photos. There are lots of pictures off my niece too. It is something I can work on when I am really missing my family and I look forward to the day when she is old enough to have a book that has been inspired by her without trying to crumple the pages or eat it!

What is one thing that would make you happy right now?

Goldfinch! I miss him 😦

I want him here with me! I wished I could have taken him to Wales to meet my wonderful family.

However, months ago I realized that it is better for Goldfinch to be without the burden of worrying about me being rushed to hospital on a regular basis. I have said my goodbye and can accept that I had a very wonderful year with him. Now my future happiness is hearing from him that everything is going well for him, that he is happy.

List 5 things you love:

Only five? There are so many things I love…in no particular order here are five of five million things that I love:

  • PEOPLE – especially my family and friends and Goldfinch!
  • THIS PLANET – meadows, mountains, rivers, beaches, lakes, waterfalls, forests
  • MUSIC
  • FOOD
  • ANIMALS – frogs, whales, horses, giraffes, bunny rabbits, butterflies, little lambs

I would like very much for my family to be able to look back and be absolutely sure that I have lacked nothing at all! They taught me pretty much everything I needed for life. Their demonstrating their love by being joyful, hard-working, fun-loving, kind, generous, faithful, reliable, consistent, balanced and wonderful examples is an immensely valuable inheritance.

Eleven Questions For My Nominees:

  1. DO YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS KNOW ABOUT YOUR BLOG?
  2. ARE THERE ANY LESSONS YOUR PARENTS TAUGHT YOU THAT YOU ARE VERY GRATEFUL?
  3. ARE YOU A SWIMMER? WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SWIM?
  4. DID YOU HAVE TO HELP OUT WITH CHORES WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP? IF SO, WHAT WERE YOU ASSIGNED TO DO?
  5. HAVE YOU EVER HAD A PENPAL?
  6. WHAT DO YOU DO TO CHEER YOURSELF UP ON RAINY DAYS WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL HAPPY?
  7. HAVE YOU EVER RESEARCHED YOUR FAMILY TREE? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT YOUR FAMILY’S ROOTS?
  8. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE NEXT TWELVE MONTHS?
  9. DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS?
  10. WHAT NEW SKILLS OR TALENTS WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN OR DEVELOP?
  11. DO YOU FIND IT EASIER TO BE HOPEFUL OR DOUBTFUL ABOUT A BETTER FUTURE FOR THIS EARTH AND ALL IT’S CREATURES?

My Eleven Nominees:

Endless Wonder

I like science – physics especially. I have always been mathematically minded. To me, physics is a goldmine of rules and orders and equations, that translate into little secrets of the known universe. It is a pretty amazing field to dive into.

But I have never been a particular fan of science fiction. I am not against it. I have just sometimes rolled my eyes at some of the ideas that are portrayed. But I do understand the sense of wonder that humans feel as we gaze at a starry sky and are astonished at the photos transmitted from research vessels like the Hubble Telescope.

Teresa aka The Haunted Wordsmith has given us ten pretty amazing questions to answer:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/01/02/queen-of-questions-2019-2/

Here is my attempt to answer them. I am absolutely loving the answers other bloggers have already published.

If you were a member of the USS Enterprise, which job would you have?

Some kind of navigational role.

Whenever we were on long journeys as a family I was always the one who had the road atlas or the A – Z map and had to call out directions to my Dadda. It frightens me that there may be readers who are so young they are wondering what on earth a road atlas is. Yes there was a time we did not have Sat-Nav, GPS, Google Maps. We had to use a paper book of maps!

Even at home I would study each page of the road atlas trying to memorise the the location of towns in England and understand the routes between them.

I also had the ability to precisely remember a route if I had travelled it once. My Dadda used to say, “if Mel has been somewhere once, she may as well have been there a hundred times because she knows the route so well.” I will let you into a secret as to why I had that ability.

When I was around five or six years old some close friends of our family had died. I had encountered death for the first time and I pondered what would happen if my parents died very suddenly. The thought came into my mind that without my parents I would have no idea how to get to the local swimming pool where I was having swimming lessons. From that moment, I sat up in the car and started staring out of the window on any journey trying to remember all the details.

Do you believe that film and television influence innovation, or is it the other way around?

I think a bit of both.

I am sure innovation influences films and television.

Children may watch a movie and grow up with the wonder and excitement stirred by the scenes that they saw deep in their heart. If they go on to become designers or inventors, those dreams may shape what they design.

What is your favourite science fiction book?

I don’t think I have really read much science fiction. It’s more movies or television through which I know anything at all of science fiction.

The only book I can think that I have read, in that genre, is “Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea”.

Should we ever stop and ask ourselves if we “should” create something?

It can be hard to foresee the consequences. I worry that ethics seem to have been steam-roller-ed for the sake of technology. I don’t see any reason to curb imagination and inventiveness and innovation. I feel as if there should be a form of governing man’s own creations.

Perhaps someone might invent something on a small scale well done clever clogs! But then may be required to provide some evidence that that have considered the effect it would have if it was produced on a large scale. Maybe if it is shown that actually it is having a detrimental effect on humans, animals, the environment, then there should be some way of withdrawing it.

How that would be done I don’t know. Who would assess the criteria and judge is something actually having detrimental effects? Is it healthy that many are becoming so reliant on machines to accomplish tasks that other humans have done for themselves for thousands of years? Who is able to govern and guide us in how we use our wonderful ability to imagine, design and create?

If you could invent anything, what would it be?

Some kind of biotech device to help me figure out if I am really hungry, or am I actually thirsty, or tired or emotional or is it just close to my period? I am sure if I could accurately figure out what my body is asking me for…I would not resort to overindulging food-wise.

Do you think extraterrestrials are already on Earth?

“Extraterrestrials” – does that mean creatures that did not originate on planet earth? I do not think there are flesh and blood creatures from other planets. Do I believe that there are intelligent creatures that dwell within the realm of the Earth and have an effect on humanity? I find that very easy to believe.

If CERN announced they discovered the secret to the universe, what would it be?

“The secret to the universe”? Are we talking about a more accurate picture of how the universe began?

Even if scientists were able to discover in intricate detail the physical processes that were involved in harnessing energy on a colossal scale and forming it to make a material universe – the question is still the same? Was it random, accidental, without any intelligence governing over the process? Or was there intelligence and an understanding of physics and chemistry as well as tremendous power that supervised the beginning of the universe.

Our Universe

↓                ↓

Had No Beginning            Had a Beginning

↓                          ↓

Without Cause           Was Caused

↓                                  ↓

By Some THING               By Some ONE

Will humans ever land on another planet?

Will they be allowed to?

I don’t think it would be a matter of… “oh we found an empty planet with water and a breathable atmosphere which can sustain human life and we want to populate it. Let’s build a fancy space-ship and get a wriggle on.”

But once we have fulfilled the original purpose for the earth, for it to be a paradise full of happy healthy humans…well…that is the point – we are not there yet. We need help. The earth is not looking like it should. We are all bunched up in cities where we can’t breath in pure air, or see the stars in the sky at night.

Once the earth is FULL and we are living in harmony with it according to the Creator’s purpose, then perhaps He will consider allowing us to populate another planet. Will we be allowed to go to another planet and trash it? OH NO OH NO! Not on your nelly!

If you can’t keep a bedsit clean and tidy, why trust you with a house? Once we get our act together, and are living in a way that makes us and other creatures we share earth with thrive, maybe we will be allowed to use what we have learnt on another planet. But we are not in a fit state to be trusted with another planet right now are we!

We are like children. We need help.

What would you want to eat on a space voyage?

I have never had the desire to voyage into space.

I was with some friends a while back and they turned on a movie – I saw less than half of it because I had to travel across London to be back at the little nest before it was too late (so I have no idea how the movie ended). The movie was called “Passenger“. What I do remember is that a group of humans are on an “interplanetary voyage” (I think they are going to establish a colony on another planet and it takes ninety years to reach it.)

I also remember is that the entire crew and passenger list were in some kind of hibernation so they could be woken up when they arrive at the other planet. That is the issue with space travel – at the moment it takes a long long time to get anywhere. The distances involved in space are gigantic. Scientists estimate that the Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light-years across. That means a beam of light travelling at the tremendous speed of 186,000 miles per second would take 100,000 years to cross our galaxy!

I think I would need to be in hibernation for a journey in outer space. If I was in hibernation I would not be eating.

If I was woken up from hibernation…I imagine I would want some water and a banana. That’s normally what I think of when I wake up in the morning.

Do you like star gazing, and if yes, what do you think about?

That is the very sad thing about living in a city. It is hard to see the stars properly. I was excited just to make out the constellation of Orion last week.

But when I have travelled to more remote areas…star gazing is a completely different experience. I am not sure what I think of…more what I feel:

Awe.

I have read so much about the physics behind stars. I have read so much about the mind-boggling amounts of energy that are needed to make matter. So much about the extraordinary choreography of the stars and galaxies that move in precise and almost ballet-like grace. But when I see the stars in a clear sky in a location where there is little light pollution – it’s not the physics that comes into my head. It is a huge swell of overwhelming wonder – for the night sky is breath-takingly beautiful and magnificent.

I feel rich. I feel loved. I feel privileged. I feel humbled. I feel confidant that whatever problems may seem insurmountable to me…are not. Nothing is impossible.

 

 

 

If I am standing next to Goldfinch gazing up at the starts hand in hand with Goldfinch…

…aaaah!

I guess now he is in Australia he is looking at the stars when I can’t see them and vice versa.

Nut-orious Questions From A Questionable Nut

In recent weeks, there are many posts that I have started but not been able to complete. They are lingering in my drafts folder. One of them is a list of slightly nutty questions from one of my favourite nutty bloggers, Rory, the creator of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

7 and Three Quarters Nutty

Here is my attempt at answering both nutty and nice questions from Rory:

Are you a Night Ninja or a Day Pirate?

I guess I am a Day Pirate on the whole.

Everything has changed since I received head injuries. I really need to be asleep at night. Three nights a week I have a very late night because of projects I am involved in. I am back at the little nest after midnight at the earliest.

It’s not good for me. It makes me suffer I have to admit.

What was the programme on TV that you watched as a youngster that would have you dancing around like a lunatic when it aired?

Dancing around as a lunatic…oooh. Let me think about that. I loved the outdoors, but I know I had a favourite TV show as a kid. I would keep asking my mum what the time was while I was playing outside because I wanted to make sure I was inside for the start of my favourite show. We did get up and sing and dance to the theme tune. In fact for years and years after we would sing the theme tune at the top of our voices in back of the car. I still know the words to the theme tune off by heart.

We loved it! Absolutely loved it. It was epic. It still makes Central and South America incredibly exciting to me. I wonder how many other bloggers will recognize it?

Do you believe that insects come back as ghosts to haunt the houses that caused their demise?

Er… No!

I like insects by the way – a lot. Fascinated by them actually. Not as much as a great friend of mine, Bev, who is literally an expert in everything creep-crawly.

What are  three things you like about being an adult?

Do you mean besides “the obvious”?  😉

  • Being allowed to choose what to have for my own dinner – although to be fair once I was ten years old I started cooking dinner for me and my sisters (Mum had started work when Milly, the youngest started school).
  • Being able to book a holiday and travel to wherever I want.
  • I also loved driving (although I have not driven since my head injuries)

What were three things that you liked when you were a kid?

  • A big gang of us going out to play together, climbing trees and having races and playing hide and seek in the woods.
  • Being allowed to wear shorts all the time without anyone assuming I just want to show off my legs to men.
  • People buying me sweets so often.

So are you a messy so and so, or a tidy freak?

I can cope with a certain matter of clutter. I keep things very clean though and once a week I have a really good tidy and put everything back where it should be. Then I can cope with things being out of place until the following week when I do the big tidy up again.

I keep life simple. I don’t have that much stuff, so it is relatively easy to keep things clean. Clean as you go!

What is your favourite colour if you took blue out of it?

Why is blue not an option? I am guessing because so many of us would choose blue? Well, if I can’t choose blue, I suppose I would choose green…bluey green especially. Everything at that end of the rainbow.

I like a little pink, a little yellow, a little purple…but I am not so keen on orange, red, or terracotta.

You can name any number between 1 and 10, as long as it isn’t 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, what is your favourite number and why does it make you who you are?

Oh…my first impulse was to say 6. The number 6 does not have any special significance though. It’s not exactly my favourite number. But you have only left us with 4, 6, 8 and 9.

  • I was six years old when I became a vegetarian.
  • I was six years old when I finally won my five metre certificate in swimming. I was so thrilled to finally be able to swim on my own, nothing could stop me after that point. A year later I had swam an entire mile.
  • I have six siblings.
  • I like the sixth month of the year – June – except that was when I was attacked – so that is a bad connotation.

I can’t think of anything else to say about the number six Rory. Except it is one of the only words that you could change the vowel for another and it would make another word…sax (saxophone), sex, six, sox (like the Red Sox) and sux or sucks. Hmm…moving on….

Do you like the feel of silk on your body?

I don’t mind it. I have a silk knit twinset. It is so pretty. It has a gorgeous scent to it. More so than the feel of it, I like the scent especially after you clean silk with special silk cleaning products.

I think I prefer silk to satin. But silk does require a lot of care. I don’t usually choose silk items. But I have had pretty silk blouses…and a very pretty silk dress which I am scared to wear in case it is damaged.

What is the nuttiest present you have ever received?

Well…recently Kristian gave me a gift that frightened the wits out of me! I should stop mentioning that though. I have already gifted him with a tea display box and a luxury tea treat to recompense for my ingratitude.

There are two gifts that came into my mind, but both of the givers know about this blogsite, so I am reluctant to mention them as I don’t want to hurt the givers! I was quite taken aback by the bizarre gifts they gave me. I didn’t keep them.

I guess that literally the nuttiest gift I ever received several times from both my sister and friends after their trips to the Middle East is jars or bags of pistachio nuts.

What is the nuttiest present you have ever given?

I have given a lot of pecan, hazelnut, macadamia, almond bakes to friends!

Not so literally nutty, but perhaps a bit of an odd gift was to a guy who I met when I was 17. I had a brief romance with him years later and then some time after that he moved to the town I was living in, and then after a few months of following me round like a lost puppy, asked me to marry him. Now when I first met him, he used to have panic attacks and had some other difficulties with interacting socially. I believe he had ADHD, but I am not sure. He was diagnosed with something, and was prescribed some kind of medication to try to help him with his concentration. He was phwwwwoarrrh kind of gorgeous. He was always tanned because he loved the outdoors. He knew everything about nature, birds, animals, trees, plants, rock formations. He only had one of his nuts, if you catch my meaning. He was always losing things – his wallet, his keys, his bosses keys for work, he lost a brand new camera on a train – never got it back of course.

When I first knew him he was a bit shy and awkward around girls. We teased him ruthlessly. He admitted he had never kissed anyone. I would have been more than happy to help him out in that regard, but instead I travelled all the way to Blackpool on a Saturday afternoon to buy him a “Kiss Me Quick” hat. (I also had a very close friendship which brewed into a courtship with my teenage sweetheart James, so kissing other boys was not on the cards.)

I said “no” by the way, in case you were wondering – but I will save that story for another post. It is not a sensational story, just a moment of madness from him, and a sensible decision from me. I am sure he is in agreement that I gave him the right answer. I have been there for him many a time before and after he popped the question, I will always be someone he can call on when he needs a shoulder to cry on, but marriage would have been a nightmare. Without being cruel to him…he and I would have clashed on too many subjects. But before we came to that point of no going back, we had some nice times together 😉

You Can Have As Many As You Like…If You Answer The Following Questions

There are already two batches of peanut-butter brownie slices cooling before I wrap them up in foil. I am going to use them as bait for the three bloggers I have tagged to carry on the Question-And-Answer series, which I believe started with Winnie! Winnie tagged me and Sadje. Sadje tagged Dr Tanya, who went onto tag me…well, now I have been tagged twice, I am going to crack on with my post before it is too late!

Rules

1. Answer the questions you receive (straight, funny, absurd, up to you)

2. Create three questions of your own for those that you tag to answer

3. Tag three people

Winnie’s Questions

1. What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

Almost every year at some point during the holiday season, the BBC, or another television channel, will broadcast the one film that can guarantee our entire family sitting still for almost three hours! I don’t know of any other film that can do that.

2. What’s your favourite Christmas tradition?

It’s not actually a Christmas tradition at all, but I love that we will still have a pyjama day at some point. Just one…Dad only ever let us have one day staying in our pyjamas, grabbing our blankets and being wrapped up on the sofa watching movies and eating treats. I would feel guilty if I stayed in my pyjamas any other day. My parents have trained us to be active. But that one day is allowed – my Dadda always said so.

This year I am going to be at my sister Milly’s home for a few days before I head to my parents’ home. I think the pyjama day will probably be with my sister and my twenty month old niece before we head to my brother-in-law’s family during the late afternoon.

3. What was your most memorable Christmas and why?

My mother’s parents were married on 22nd December. My Grandad always said he picked that date because it is one of the longest nights of the year.

I remember the year we had their ruby wedding anniversary party after forty years of marriage. I was a child at the time. Probably around 8 or 9 years of age. It was the last time every member of our family were all together during the holidays and everyone was well and happy. The feast was scrumdiddleyumptious!

It was not too long after that that Grandmother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and my uncle and his family moved to live overseas. Some of my older siblings moved overseas. We have never all been together since their fortieth wedding anniversary. My Grandmother died around ten years ago…and we lost my Grandfather this year.

Sadje’s questions

1.Which is the most fun vacation you have had?

I feel as if our whole trip to the North of Sweden was fun from start to finish – truly the holiday of a life time! Although we had no idea how much fun we were going to have. We just flew out there to visit a friend named Jan (pronounced Yan) without having any idea what he had in store for us.

We did so many things that we had never dreamed of. Our friend Jan surprised us every day with something special. I have never had a holiday quite like it.

We went husky sledging up a mountain and warmed our cockles in a hotel at the top which had no electricity, but a huge open fire.

We went go-carting on a frozen lake in Northern Sweden…I ended up skidding way off the track and then driving the wrong way round the track. I just spent the whole time laughing and screaming.

The snow-mobiles our friends took us on in the middle of the night in Northern Sweden – WOW! At midnight he told us we were going to go and empty the bins.  He told us to all get dressed in our ski wear.  We all traipsed outside and stood in the middle of the snow waiting for Jan who had disappeared when suddenly a mighty roar erupted and bright lights. Jan’s friends appeared on their snow mobiles and gave us two hours of the most fun I have ever had in the snow.  The mountain was empty of tourists at night, so they rode all over.  I was screaming with excitement while clinging to the driver with all my might.

I mentioned in a post recently our adventure with the herd of reindeer:

“You Cannot See Because Of The Ice On The Window”

That holiday was amazing.  Our friends gave us the time of our lives.  It was a complete adventure to all of us, especially because all we did was book our flights and arrive, our friend Jan arranged everything for us, all our accommodation, the hospitality we received from his friends and all of the amazing adventures.

2. Do you love summers or winter?

Summer. I love summer!

 

I am counting the days!

3. Which is your favourite blog post? Please share a link.

I was looking back at some of the posts that I had written about Goldfinch last week. I found one that described the most wonderful day I had with Goldfinch. He took me to a beautiful location. The whole day was very very beautiful:

I think I wrote it after we spent time together during the May Bank Holiday weekend. I need to check my diary. But it was still spring, yet gloriously warm like summer. He held me close for so long. It was one of the most perfect days of my life – so utterly happy.

Dr. Tanya’s Questions

1. What is your family’s favourite winter activity?

Often we have found fantastic deals for hotels, cottages or chalets up in the Lake District in January.

Because a lot of us work during the bank holidays at the end of December, we often have then had a break in January up in the Lakes and have been able to walk – burning off all the calories from having too much chocolate and sherry during the holidays.

One thing I love about the Lakes is that no matter the weather, you are always greeted by very beautiful scenery.

2. How do you plan to fit blogging in with your holiday festivities?

I have been very organized! I have already scheduled a post for every day right up to the end of the year! I won’t have any device I can use the internet for when I am in North Wales, so I have planned ahead. Who’s a clever girl then? From today…I am going to be ridiculously busy right up until the 10th of January! Aaaaagh!

I am going to fall way behind with reading…so I am wondering if other bloggers will forgive me for reading their posts so late. I am going to try my best to catch up with reading what I miss while I am away, but I can’t make any promises I don’t know if I can keep.

3. Have you started thinking of changes that you want to make in your life in 2019?

I don’t plan to make any particular changes. But changes may be forced upon me!

I am starting a new year without Goldfinch. I am not making any plans to replace him. But Goldfinch and I have talked about this, at some point I know he wants me to be open-minded to the fact there are other lovely men out there. He even said that to me at the airport when we were saying goodbye.

It will be weird because I don’t have the desire to be close to any other man, but Goldfinch wants me to make the most of my life. At some point the day will come when I agree to go for a drink with someone. It will be so strange. But it is a hurdle I am going to have to jump over eventually. It is a very lovely thing to have a companion who makes your heart flutter and brightens your days. I know I am happier with a man in my life. But not just any man. Someone who makes me happy to be around them and someone I respect and feel safe with. I am not in any rush…it might be 2020, 2021…or after that before such a man comes along. We will see.

I don’t worry about reaching specific goals since my head injuries…staying alive and making the most of each day is my priority!

My Questions:

  1. Was there a special day in your life that you remember very fondly?

  2. Do you have a favourite tipple?

  3. Do you keep a diary? Either a diary with all your appointments and dates to remember, or a diary which you note your thoughts or descriptions of how each day has been?

I am tagging:

Friendly Questions

I was recently tagged by Nova, the creator of My Namastè 365 Online to take part in:

20 Questions With Friends

answers to questions.jpg

 

Nova has asked some great questions and it has been an absolute pleasure to work on a post with my answers. None of them are silly at all – well maybe the one about hot sauce and ranch dressing! But I still answered it! I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Finish the Thought*

1. Those words I couldn’t say…  

PLEASE DON’T GO, PLEASE STAY

Why didn’t I say that?

  • Because it would have been selfish?
  • Because I am a coward?
  • Because he might have refused to anyway?
  • Because I am not sure what I can offer him when I am still struggling with my head injuries?
  • Because if he did stay, he might have been unhappy?
  • Because goodbyes are always hard and if he stayed with me longer, eventually the goodbye when one of us became sick and lost our life would be a million times harder?

2. It’s quite simple really…  

JUST DO EXACTLY WHAT THE RECIPE SAYS

I like to bake, and I have success, but only because I do exactly what the recipe says. I don’t take liberties. I have no retention in my head for baking. Every time I bake, I am faithful to the recipe. If the instructions say FOLD, that means gentle, don’t beat the mix with all your might because you knock all the air out. Just do what the recipe says!

3. Sometimes I forget… 

IMG_20181216_151820

TO GO FOOD SHOPPING

I am so busy at times that I let my cupboards and fridge run completely bare! However, I always have a huge stock of different herbal teas and Nespresso capsules – I never neglect my supplies of those.

4. I can sum that up easily…  

love maths

LOVE

That seems to be the answer to most puzzles.

5. A famous person born on my birthday is… 

A LOSER WHO RULED AN ENTIRE COUNTRY AT ONE POINT

There was only one person I actually recognized and I was kind of dismayed he and I were born on the same date. There were lots of “famous” people Google listed, but if I have never heard of them how famous are they really?

The person I did recognize was a king who caused a lot of trouble and made himself rather infamous. However, he and I have nothing in common – the miserable so and so!

Firsts…?

1.Job?… 

RECEPTIONIST

My first paid job was working as a receptionist for a branch of the Royal Mail (national postal service) in Lancashire. It was very quiet. I was extremely bored. I decided to take books to read and study so that the time would go more quickly.

2. Thought in the morning?… 

headache.jpg

OUCH! COME ON MEL, YOU CAN DO THIS

Then I wander to the kitchen to take some pain-killers. This head pain each morning really is annoying!

3. Car?… 

NEVER OWNED ONE, BUT HAVE DRIVEN MANY…

The first car I ever sat in the driver’s seat and crawled slowly around an empty car park on an industrial estate was a Nissan Sunny which we called Vicky-Bob. We called her that because her number plate was VCK 808Y.

I have never owned a car but have driven a lot for work – some beautiful cars. I also had to drive one car that was so long that we called it “the hearse”. I have not driven since my head injuries though.

4. Decision you made as an adult?… 

AT THE AGE OF 18 I FELT I COULD GO PLACES!

I made the decision to travel to the Isle Of Man for a voluntary project even though I had exams that summer. I travelled back to the mainland on a Seacat day-pass for my exams and returned to the Isle of Man that evening so I could carry on with the project.

That kind of set the pattern for my life ever since. Juggling voluntary projects with other stuff that people told me was was important.

Of course I passed my exams! With top marks!

5. Concert?… 

HOT CHOCOLATE

I think I was about thirteen years of age when I saw them. I may have seen other live music before, my Dadda may have took me to see other musicians, but this was the first time I had gone to a live music event with my friends.

No I am not that old. I was born in the eighties…but Hot Chocolate have had a mighty good run.

This or That?

1. Hamburger or hot dog?

VEGGIE BURGER

I have been a vegetarian since I was six years of age. I vaguely remember Dadda taking us to MacDonalds in Southport (Merseyside) before then, where I tried a hamburger. I recall that I loved the gherkins. I don’t think I ever had a real hot dog, although I have had vegetarian frankfurters which tasted smoky salty weird to me.

2. Mountains or beach?

MOUNTAINS

I love both, but here in Britain, I think we have better mountains than we do beaches. There is nothing quite like the feeling of walking up a mountain and the exhilaration of the stunning views you are rewarded with.

3. Electric or standard tooth brush?

toothbrushes

STANDARD

The dentist and hygienist both told me off for brushing my teeth too often and too vigorously. I was brushing my gums away! So now I use extra soft toothbrushes and I am much more gentle. I only brush twice a day, and in between times I use floss and mouthwash.

4. Call or text conversations?

DEPENDS WHO I AM CONTACTING

I love talking to my family on the telephone or someone I love (like Goldfinch) …but if I need to keep things short and sweet texting is great. I wish I had talked on the phone more to Goldfinch. I was working over fifty hours a week for half of my relationship with him. So I had to text during break-times.

5. City life or country life?

IDEALLY COUNTRY LIFE

I have lived both way out in the sticks in the remote countryside, and I have lived in the heart of the city here in London. I am in London because there are a lot of volunteer projects here. I can be useful. I love the diversity of people here in London. London is not particularly English, it is multi-cultural and international in flavour.

But I genuinely feel cities are not a good thing. Sure they can be exciting, museums, galleries, restaurants and the like. But living in cities is not really what we were designed for. We should all spread out and learn to really live. It would be so satisfying if every human had some land of their own to look after and learnt to sow, cultivate and harvest crops, how to build their own home and furniture, how to live off the land rather than relying on a supermarket. It would be wonderful to see all humans living closer to nature.

Would You Rather…?

1. Would you rather become a creative person or a technical person?

TECHNICAL

I have never been particularly creative. But if I had the choice I would choose to expand my useful skills so that I could be able to help on more international construction and repair projects. I would live to be a technical engineer and have a host of different construction skills I was fully adept at.

2. Would you rather brush your teeth with hot sauce or with ranch dressing?

What a choice!!! Neither really!

ERM…HOT SAUCE…I THINK

I am not sure I have tried ranch dressing. I may have. But I like to eat my salad naked (not naked in the sense that some bloggers like to ski or zip-wire naked) that is, without dressing – the salad, not me. I tend to be always fully dressed when I eat salad or anything else.

Except for the time when Goldfinch arrived really late, and as I knew it was too late to cook (the aromas would have woken up my landlady as her bedroom is above my kitchen) I bought us some take-away food which we ate in my bedroom… but that’s another story, probably not for this website!

3. Would you rather have two permanent lazy eyes or always get nose bleeds at extremely embarrassing moments?

NOSE BLEEDS

I only say that because Goldfinch had a nose-bleed at an extremely embarrassing moment! Bless him, he tried to carry on. Blood all over my pillows and even on my forehead. But I loved making a fuss of him. I rather enjoyed being his nurse!

4. Would you rather eat pizza every day or never be able to eat pizza again?

NEVER EAT PIZZA AGAIN

I like pizza a lot…but it has to be vegetarian and non-dairy for me. More than pizza, I like variety. I would get really fed up of having the same food every day. So it would be much better for me to choose the never eat pizza again option as there are so many other foods I could enjoy.

5. Would you rather always get stuck in traffic or always have a really slow internet connection?

SLOW (OR EVEN NO) INTERNET CONNECTION

Other than sending e-mails to loved ones and using WordPress, I am pretty much a Luddite. I don’t have a device that has internet connection outside of this little nest…or the home of a close friend or relative who allows me to piggy-back on their broadband.

Being stuck in traffic is something I have experienced too many times and I don’t like it one bit. My Dad finds it incredibly frustrating. If there is no or slow internet connection, I would just carry on living. The internet is not life. It is just a tool. A very useful tool. But without it, life carries on.

Life is for living!

A Pick And Mix To Sweeten Sunday

If there is one topic of conversation I find it very easy to talk about, it is food! Foodie questions are so irresistible. So it may come as no surprise that the second parter of my pick and mix of questions from our Queen of Questions, Teresa, aka The Haunted Worsdmith are yet again foodie orientated!

Ten Pick And Mix Questions From Teresa

To Sweeten Sunday:

What do you like on your waffles?

It’s so long since I had waffles! Here in England you can buy a box of frozen potato waffles and serve them with the other key ingredients from a full English breakfast which is a wonderful treat for a lazy morning at the weekend before you go and climb the nearest hillock.

But if I was going to go sweet with waffles, it would have to have some kind of caramel sauce – maybe some fruit like banana.

But to be honest, sweet waffles are such an amazing treat – one that I rarely deserve – I think I would be happy with any combination of fruit or sweet sauce.

It was a perfect snowfall…what do you build?

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I don’t think I could resist building a huge snowman.

If there was a big team of us, we would probably try to build an ingloo big enough for all of us to squeeze into.

The problem we often have is that we become so wrapped up in a snowball war, that we ruin the snow! We make it harder to build.

What flavor of potato chip (crisps) do you like?

One of my biggest weaknesses are vegetable crisps – beetroot, parsnip, sweet potato – but I don’t think that’s what you meant.

If it is potato crisps then a strong Cheese and Onion flavour or Sweet Thai Chilli. But I try not to buy any kind of crisps because they don’t do my waistline any good.

Is there a song that gets stuck in your head every time you hear it?

And whenever it happens it is terrible. It’s like having hiccups that won’t go away. It’s especially bad because I know all the words. Oh my goodness, why on earth have I pressed play? I am going to be singing this for days. It will drive me crazy!!!

Do you prefer stage, television, or movie productions?

The theatre is probably the most exciting. To see a live production on stage is fantastic, especially a musical. But I guess television and movie can often have bigger budgets and utilise an array of special effects and tricks of the camera. They often have a much bigger canvass and can pack in details that would perhaps be wasted on stage. I do admire that.

For example, I first saw the famous musical “Phantom Of The Opera” when I was about seven years old. It was actually Mandy’s husband’s uncle Dean who arranged our coach trip to Manchester to see it. I was absolutely blown away by some of the features of the stage production. It was very exciting. I have seen it so many times here in London with friends who were visiting for the weekend that sometimes I forget how exciting it was that first time.

When the film version of the musical was released my excitement was resurrected. I loved all the detail that could be packed into the bigger canvass. One of my favourite moments from that movie is the song “Prima Donna”. It is the biggest treat of the movie for me. So much is going on in the background – a feast for the eyes which cannot be replicated on the stage sadly.

If you could only have one drink for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I think it would have to be water.

I think I would tire of something with a distinctive flavour.

I drink a lot of water. I know I never tire of it. Although I enjoy them, I could go without other drinks easily.

British, American, Canadian, or Australian English – who does it best?

At the moment, it’s the mellow tones of a Goldfinch speaking Australian English that makes my heart flutter.

I am not picky about the way words are spelt…as long as we understand each other – and isn’t that what language is all about? I shall not be narking at you about missing vowels or completely different designations for vegetables.

How do you like your potatoes?

I love potatoes pretty much anyway! I love silky buttery pureed or mashed potatoes, I love roast potatoes, I love fondant potatoes. I made potato latkes last weekend which were scrummy. You can’t go too far wrong with potatoes surely!

One of my favourite potato dishes is dauphinoise – which is like a potato gratin with lots of cream and garlic. Sheer delciousness!

What literary character would be your significant other?

I guess Captain Wentworth…

…hmm, should I explain why? In brief…we fell in love, there was a separation, he would not forgive me, I have never been the same since. The agony and frustration of:

  • Is there anything that can heal the breach?
  • What are his true feelings?
  • Is he trying to punish me because he cannot forgive me?
  • Does he mean to be so cruel?
  • Does he not comprehend that I could never replace him in my heart?

What is your favourite thing to buy at a movie theatre concession stand?

I am going to confess, a cinema ticket costs so much that I normally would not then waste money on sweets and junk food within the cinema. I always have a bottle of water with me and I might sneak my own goodies into the cinema – peanut M&Ms, or Pringles or Butterkist popcorn.

I know from my own experience that food in the dark is not always a success. I once spilt a whole bucket of popcorn when trying to find our seats in the dark. It wasn’t even my popcorn. I was carrying it for a friend, who already had her hands full.

I have been on cinema dates, where the man I was with was keen on loading up with food for the experience. Don’t ask me why! Personally, I find a cinema date much more enjoyable without food to wreak havoc on all possibilities of romance blossoming.

So one guy ordered nachos loaded with cheese and salsa and jalapeno peppers. That was hardly romantic.  But bless him, he was obviously very hungry. It was like being on a date with Cookie Monster from Sesame Street.

Another guy bought a tub of Haagan Daaz ice-cream and tried to spoon-feed me whilst watching the movie, which all got a bit messy. Another young man threw half of his coke on me.

I make the exception for Goldfinch, who is the most wonderful person to sit next to in a cinema – you will have to take my word for it. He likes salty popcorn, I like sweet popcorn. I clearly love him more than he loves me. He wins! We share a bucket of salty popcorn and I think we have shared a coke too.

ardensOh I did sneak a box of my favourite snack into the cinema once with Goldfinch. He had never tasted anything like them and was not sure at first. But then he gobbled almost the whole box without me getting a look in!

Aaaaah – I will never have the chance to sit next to Goldfinch during a movie at the cinema again! Sigh! But I have his Odean cinema pass and a guest ticket. He told me if I have any male friends that look like him we could go and see a movie together. To be honest, I don’t want to go on any cinema dates, or any other kind of dates with anyone for a long time. Goldfinch is going to be in my system for a long time to come. When I am ready, I might think about agreeing to go out for a drink with someone, but I am not in any rush.

A Pick And Mix To Sweeten Saturday

Who does not love the chance to go and pick their own sweeties for a dolly bag? You take your empty paper bag and you are allowed to wander around the sweetie displays and using the scoops provided collect whatever combination of sweets you like best!

There have been a lot of questions and answer posts floating around in recent weeks. I have loved seeing the questions provided by our Queen of Questions, Teresa, aka The Haunted Wordsmith. I have loved reading the answers from other bloggers too. You may be aware that I have had a lot on my mind with the loss of my gorgeous Goldfinch – my loss, Australia’s gain.

I had started posts in response to Teresa’s questions and not had time to finish them. So I thought I would go through my drafts folder and try to compile a pick and mix of the questions I was clearly most enthusiastic about (which seem to be mostly about food!) and compile my pick and mix post of Teresa’s recent questions. I have narrowed it down to twenty questions – so ten today and ten tomorrow is my plan, as twenty make an extremely long post!

Ten Pick And Mix Questions From Teresa

To Sweeten Saturday:

What do you put in your sandwich?

Avocado.

But I like variety. I would probably add some salsa or sundried tomato. I love hummus too, especially with either roasted vegetables or falafel. I might occasionally have goat’s cheese, and sometimes add beetroot. Grated carrot and pesto. Diced celery, carrot, cucumber and mango chutney. (I love all cheese but I am not very good with dairy.)

Oh I am hungry.

Have you ever played a sport?

Oh yes. I love playing sports – much much more than watching sport. In fact to be honest, I don’t think I like watching sport at all now. I just want to jump up and join in.

swimmingMy sisters and I were competition swimmers. That was our thing. But because we were fit and had a great lung capacity, we seemed to be pretty good at most sports. I was on the school team for everything.

I don’t have great hand eye coordination though. I have a lot of energy and stamina. I have no fear, but very little skill. So my best position in any sport is in defence. I will take on any opponent. But once I have won the ball, I am pretty useless. I have to pass it to a team mate because I can’t run with the ball, I just trip over. I am not always very precise in my aim or the force with which I pass the ball.

I have played football (soccer that is), hockey, basketball, rounders (which I think is a bit like baseball), netball and other sports. But I am usually in some kind of defense position. Whatever I play I enjoy. I don’t tire out, I love running around, I will tackle anyone on the other team, but once I have won possession of the ball, I have to give it to someone else because I am so useless with it.

What is your favourite soup?

I love variety again! I like soup!

I love butternut squash soup. But if I have avoided dairy for a long time, stilton and broccoli is yummy. I love a spiced lentil soup. I love parsnip soup. A creamy vegetable soup. I like sweetcorn chowder. I love a garlicky mushroom soup or a vegetarian onion soup. I like roasted beetroot and garlic soup.

What is one song that best describes your day so far?

But to be honest, most days here in London, I feel as if I am running around from here to there trying to squeeze in everything I have agreed to do in a day!

What is the oldest thing in your refrigerator right now?

I think a jar of rose harrissa paste. I forget to use it. It has probably been there for about three months.

Most of my fridge contents are salad and soya milk or cashew milk, with the occasional bottle of white or rose. Things don’t stay in my fridge for long.

If you had to stay up all night, what is one thing that would keep you awake?

People.

Even if I am exhausted, when there are people around me I can’t fall asleep. If I am on a night flight where all the other passengers around me are sleeping, I will be wide awake clutching tightly to my purse. I just don’t feel safe or relaxed to fall asleep with people around me, especially if they are strangers. I feel as if I am very vulnerable!

I have had to do a lot of night shifts whilst working in health-care and I have worked very late nights trying to meet deadlines on various voluntary projects. If I am on my own, I have to keep drinking coffee and getting up and going for a walk. But if I am with other people, it is not difficult to stay awake. We chatter and laugh while we are working. I have a story about a nighttime project and a hilarious situation we faced with an alarm – we were all in tears laughing. Whenever I tell the story, nobody seems to understand how funny it was. But at the time, we were all shaking with laughter.

If your kitchen could talk, would it have a horror story?

20180601_192241-1I wrote a full account in the post below:

But in essence, it involved an explosion of red wine, all over the ceiling, cupboards, worktops, floor and all over the pale coloured sofa. I thought my landlord would lynch me!

What is your favourite museum to visit?

I am spoilt for choice here in London…but honestly the one museum that draws me back again and again as it truly fascinates me is the The British Museum.

I wrote about my love for the British Museum in the post below:

What is your favourite flower?

Oooooh – so hard to choose. But there is one flower, that I think makes my heart leap in a special way. The bluebell!

I love it because most people know better than to try to pick them to take them home and put them in a vase. If you want to see my favourite flower, you put your wellington boots on and traipse into the shady woods to see them carpeting the woodland floor. That’s where they belong, not in a vase.

Around the end of April they might start to appear and hopefully last well into May. Carpets of blue on the forest floor. It is one of the most beautiful events of the year for me.

It is absolutely enchanting. I don’t know how many countries have bluebells that erupt in the forest each spring. But it is an incredible vision to behold that I would hope everyone on earth would have chance to see.

What is your favourite dessert?

I love variety – you are going to be bored of me saying that! I don’t think you could ever put a sweet dessert in front of me that I would not devour with relish! My preferences only change according to the season. In winter I like a hot indulgent dessert, in summer I like light fruity desserts.

The only thing I am a bit snobbish about is either shop-bought pre-packaged desserts, or if I go to a restaurant, and I genuinely feel I could have made a better job of making the dessert than the professional kitchen staff have. When I first started baking all by myself, I remember looking through recipe books and picking out cakes and pastries I wanted to learn how to make. My very first choice was profiteroles. I reckon I was around twelve years old. I followed the recipe and instructions faithfully and out came perfect profiteroles. So I am a snob. I can’t buy them from a supermarket because I know mine are so much better.

 

Who Thought Questions Could Be Such Fun?

There are days when I love having a challenge or a nomination post to work on. Well on Tuesday evening, with my sore chest, I occupied myself with this series of questions for which I was tagged for by Kristian, the creator of Tales from the mind of Kristian as you can see in his post below:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/weekend-questions-from-the-haunted-wordsmith/

Kristian was tagged by Teresa aka The Haunted Wordsmith who was the creator of this question challenge. Have a look at Teresa’s original post to find out what she had in mind:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/q-a-a-little-weekend-fun/

Directions

  1. Answer the questions you receive (straight, funny, absurd, up to you)
  2. Add three more questions of your own to the list
  3. Tag three people

Teresa’s Questions:

What would Klaatu (The Day the Earth Stood Still) think of Earth if he landed today?

I have just had to read up about who Klaatu was as I have never seen the film.

Erm…ugh, I am never very imaginative with alien questions because I have not watched many alien movies at all. Let me think…if an alien came with a message – what would that be?

Erm…maybe he would remind us that we should be working on looking after our own home planet and sorting out the mess before we think about a future for humans on other planets. He might tell us that we won’t be trusted with a second home until we learn to look after our first home properly.

If books’ characters were not imprisoned by their covers, which two characters would make a great couple?

One character my heart always goes out to is Smike from Charles Dickens ‘”Nicholas Nickleby“. I feel so sorry for Smike throughout the story and I would love him to have a wonderfully happy ending. Poor Smike! It would be so nice if there was an absolute sweetheart to love him and take care of him.

Who would it be?

Well, I love the character Louisa Clark in Jojo Moyes’ “Me Before You“. Of course, I wish it had been possible for her and Will Traynor to have their own “happily ever after” really. But Lou Clark ends up being such an amazing carer and I love her personality. She could light up any room!

Can I also confess that I feel really sorry for Miss Haversham from Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” and wish she could have a happy ever after too. I just can’t think of a male character who would be able to deal with her issues.

For US folks: Turkey, Ham, or Something Else on Thanksgiving? For Int’l folks: What is one food you recommend most from your country?

So one of the classics from the British menu is fish and chips and mushy peas. Only, because I have been vegetarian (not vegan) since I was six years old, I have never had the fish part. I normally have chippy chips with curry sauce.

But a couple of years ago I tried beer-battered halloumi for the first time with chips and mushy peas and although it was a bit of a belly busting meal (I could not finish it because it was so filling) it was an incredible treat for me!

Kristian”s Questions:

Is there a fictional world that you actually wished existed?

The inside of the Chocolate Factory. I remember watching that film as a little girl and thinking it would be amazing to enter a paradise where everything was eatable and delicious!

What song always makes you smile?

I am going to give you three because I cannot decide which…there are a long list of other possibilities – but I have limited myself to three! I love so many different types of music, but today this is how I feel.

 How do you like your eggs in the morning?

 

Goldfinch likes them poached…so I have been practising making the perfect poached eggs for him and the perfect Hollandaise. I am going to confess to you that I find it hard to make perfect poached eggs with a fluid gold yolk. I made them a couple of weeks ago for Goldfinch and the yolks were hard – fail! Goldfinch was very gracious about it. Have I mentioned recently how much I love that man!

I go through phases with eggs. I don’t normally buy them, but if I feel I am in major need of protein in my diet I have read that eggs are one of the best sources of protein. I would mostly buy eggs to bake with – quiche and cakes need eggs usually.

If I was going to eat them on their own merit, I like them scrambled, fried (I am more than happy with overdone, but can’t bear them underdone – raw egg makes me feel queasy) or hard-boiled and chopped up and mixed with a mayonnaise. I like variety in everything. Only I almost always have eggs with buttered toast, or maybe a toasted English muffin. If they were fried yesterday I would want them scrambled today. Eggs and asparagus – yum!

My Questions:

When you went to the play-park as a child, did you have a favourite apparatus? (eg the swings, see-saw, slides, climbing frame)

If I were to send you a bouquet of flowers – what kind of flowers would you like to see in it? (Tom – if you don’t really want me sending you flowers…how about chocolates?)

When you have a cold, how do you treat it? Do you dose yourself up with items you have bought from the pharmacy or do you have any home remedies you rely on? Is there anything else you do to try to cheer yourself up while you are ill?

I Am Tagging:

FOWC with Fandango — Fluid

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/your-daily-word-prompt-gold-november-22-2018/

The Effulgent A Guy Called Bloke (or Rory) Has Nominated Me For The Sunshine Blogger Award

It has been pouring down with rain here in London. Yesterday was grey and cold and damp, and I ended up with a right old soaking because my umbrella collapsed. Thank goodness I have a ray of sunshine in my drafts folder all ready to brighten up the weekend!

sunshine bloffer award 3.jpg

Around a week ago Rory, the creator of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! nominated me for The Sunshine Blogger Award as you can see from his post below:

The Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination 2018 6 & 7

Rory is one of the loveliest bloggers around. It is always a treat to be nominated by him!

Rory’s Rules

Now normally at this point, I would list the rules of The Sunshine Blogger Award, but on this occasion we have an advanced rule – THE NOMINEE EXEMPTION CARD rule – as explained by Rory below:

“Ok, l am going to do this slightly differently – l am going to nominate some of my favourite bloggers for this award but give them the Nominee Exemption Card …. This allows them however to answer the questions l pose should they wish, but they do not have to nominate others unless they wish to.”

I am going to accept the Nominee Exemption Card on this occasion…because I have to admit, I am tired! I want to go to bed! And it will take me at least another half an hour to prepare a list of nominees and come up with some questions. I hope everyone is alright with me accepting Rory’s provision on this occasion – any complaints can be forwarded directly to Rory @ A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

Rory’s “Unique” Questions For His Nominees

1) What’s the most fun you have ever had without being under the influence of something or someone?

Oh Rory…I could tell when I read the first question this was going to be fun! I have little experience with being “under the influence”…I might have the occasional half glass of vino or cider, but I am a lemonade girl for the most part! See the video below for a blast from the past!

Oh my goodness I have had fun.

  • I love playing games with a huge gang of us. In my twenties about fifty of us would go to the nearby woods and play a version of “hide and seek” named “40/40”. You may know it by another name. Basically there is a base that you have to reach before the seeker finds you. The seeker takes a risk that the further they wander away from that base the more chance the hiders have of getting back there without being seen. For safety reasons we used to play it in teams of three (we were usually playing in the dark). You had to link each other’s arms and if one let go, the whole team were disqualified. It was so much fun.
  • I was a contestant in a Bollywood version of Strictly Come Dancing – that was hilarious!
  • I have had so much karaoke fun.
  • I love ceilidhs – they are fun – although after the one I went to a couple of weeks ago I had bruises all over me. Some of the men seem to think it is a rugby match.
  • We have had pine-cone wars in the woods in North Wales with a huge gang of friends and family members.
  • The snow-mobiles our friends took us on in the middle of the night in Northern Sweden – WOW!
  • We went go-carting on a frozen lake in Northern Sweden…I ended up skidding way off the track and then driving the wrong way round the track.
  • Lots of fun on construction sites (safety first of course) working with some incredible characters – especially working with roofers! Lots of singing “up on the roof”.

2) What’s the most fun you have ever had without the obvious, naked?

swimwearWithout “the obvious” being the cause…I am not often naked Rory!

Hmm…do I have any naked stories that I am willing to share on my blog-site???

I have had fun “almost naked”…except for my swimming costume, which is always a modest one-piece because I am a real swimmer. Lots of swimming games and snorkelling.

Maybe in hospital…I was naked accept for a thin smock thingy the hospital had put over me. I woke up in the middle of the night with water splashing on my face. I was so groggy and heavily tired (it was after my attack and I was still in quite a bad way although I was mobile at this point) I really did not understand what was happening because I could sense it was raining outside. I wondered it there was some kind of a leak coming through the ceiling.

I pressed my buzzer, and a nurse came and asked if I was alright. I told her there was a leak in the ceiling. She looked up and could not see anything. She told me to try to sleep. I did, but the water kept on splashing in my face. I rang the buzzer again. The nurse came again and tried to reassure me there was no leak. I became so distressed that eventually I could not bear the splashing any longer, so I climbed out of bed. I was attached to an IV drip which was keeping me hydrated and feeding a type of medicine that I had not been successful at keeping down when they tried to give it me in tablet form.

I started wandering around the ward with my smock thingy unfastened so I was fully exposed from behind! I am glad most of the patients I passed were sleeping. I was mooning the whole ward!

Another nurse found me and was chuckling slightly and asked me where I was going. I explained I could not cope with the leaky ceiling and I was going to ask someone else to look at it.

She took me back towards my bed and she said she could not see any water coming from the ceiling. I kept telling her there was a leak. Anyway…because she had stayed around she happened to notice that there was a drip noise splashing onto the floor. She kept on looking up at the ceiling and hearing the splash splash. She was puzzled. Eventually she worked out it was my bag of fluids that was going into me intravenously…the bag had a puncture and fluid was dripping out and it had been landing on my face while I was in bed.

The first nurse felt terrible. It was her that had put that bag of fluids up and she realized she must have punctured it somehow. More was splashing out rather than going into me intravenously.

3) What’s the most fun you have ever had whilst under the influence of something or someone?

I remember playing the animal pair game at two o’clock in the morning with a big group of friends after a summer barbecue my friends had held. After all the food, we had ended the night sitting chatting underneath the stars and I remember we were finishing off the booozy fruit punch. Then we started playing games…and one of them was the animal pair game.

Have you ever played the animal pair game? Someone has written out on scraps of paper the names of animals – like cow, dog, cat, pig, sheep, lion etc. There will be two scraps for each animal. Everyone randomly pulls out a scrap. Then when the whistle is blown the idea of the game is to find your animal match by making the sound of your animal.

It is one of the noisiest games I play (usually when there is a big family get-together in North Wales). Everyone is running around and you hear this din of mooooos, wooooofs, meeee-ows, oinks, baaaaaas and roooooaaaars. It’s absolutely nuts! Especially after boooozy fruit punch.

4) What’s the stupidest question l have ever asked of you?

So the first time I was ever tagged for one of Rory’s challenges I was kind of baffled by how I was going to begin to answer half of the questions. Immediately, I took the delete three and replace them with your own option…but it still left me with a handful of questions that I did a really bad job of answering.

It took me a while to get used to some of Rory’s questions – but now I love his challenges! In fact…I feel that working on posts in response to Rory’s challenges has helped me to develop my own style, and I love him to bits for that – because I was a bit confused with what my style was when I first started blogging. I try to show my appreciation for the effort he puts in to creating these challenges by using finesse and panache when I am preparing my response to publish!

The question below was in the first Rory challenge I ever attempted and I have included my answer:

Would you rather be eaten alive by wolves or eat another human alive?

vegetarian.jpgWhat a choice! These are all boy questions.  Rory – did you write these questions?

I am a vegetarian – so I don’t know if that helps answer that one!  I have no problem with other people eating animals – that is allowed.  Eating another human is not allowed.  Of course neither would I particularly desire to be eaten by wolves.  But I might be dead already and it would be beyond my control.  But there is no way I would eat a human.

5) What’s the question you want to answer but no one yet, even me has not yet asked you?

Ask me about my dream wedding!

Go on…I know you want to hear all about it! Men love hearing all the detailed description about a woman’s dream wedding don’t they? NOT!!!

To be fair…there are very few of my friends who would have the patience to hear about my dream wedding – why should bloggers be interested?

6) What’s your suggestion for the Christmas Challenge?

Hows about…let’s see how long we can all go without mentioning it?!!! Ay karumba they’ve been selling tat in the local shopping mall since August. I can’t stand the commercialism and the waste. I am all for days off work and being with family (I am going to Wales) but pleeeeeeeze, it is a so cringe worthy how much of a commercial jackpot it is.

And the songs…I don’t want song posts…I can’t cope with the radio or going to the local shopping center because of all the annoying songs.

Can I just hibernate instead? Wake me up in January when it is all over please. But of course I cannot wait to have a few days off work so I can be with my family!

7) What is the craziest blog you have ever read, and l don’t mean mine?

Oooooh…how could I possibly answer that question? I have seen a couple of really crazy blogs I must admit.

I must have accidentally clicked “follow” on one blog which is probably the polar opposite to anything I would want to read, because I suddenly had this message which horrified me saying “thanks for following” and when I looked at the site belonging to the blogger it was from…my reaction was “Aaaaaagh! Unfollow unfollow unfollow! Aaaaaaagh!”

I know you are all want to know whose blog this was so you can start following them, but the answer is NO!

8) What is the theory of what is?

What is or What if? – could this be a typo?

Well, since a theory, by Google’s definition, is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalized thinking, or the results of such advanced thinking….I can understand the theorist starting his train of thought with “what if….?”

However, “what is….?” requires a less theoretical and more of a factual reply.

Wouldn’t you agree?

9) What is the colour red when mixed with Tripping the Light Fantastic?

I have no idea! Is this a cryptic question? It could be a really lush cocktail?

To “trip the light fantastic” is to dance nimbly or lightly, or to move in a pattern to musical accompaniment. Who dances more nimbly or lightly than a ballerina?

So a red ballerina. Or a ballerina wearing red. There was a film called “The Red Shoes”.

10) What is the answer to the Dodo, like seriously why?

Why…?

I think they are lovely. They have bred them up on my brother-in-law’s uncle’s farm. The farm lies in a secluded valley in a remote area in North Wales. The dodos are the sweetest and most docile of all the “different” animals we have had up at the farm.

They are much more docile than the pushmi-pullyus which are so very hard to herd.

The giant lunar moths have concerned the local villages who are afraid their woollies are going to be gobbled up. But we have assured them we don’t let any of the animals go hungry.

PLEASE SEE FOOTNOTE AT BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

11) And finally, what is the answer to this riddle?

There is no answer!

Why do I say that? Because there is no riddle. No riddle, no answer to a riddle.

Please don’t ask me to explain!

__________________

Well….thank you again Rory for nominating me for The Sunshine Blogger Award! I hope you enjoy my answers!

I hope any bloggers reading this find it as fun as I did! Rory and Caramel Creations – so much fun!

*FOOTNOTE: You do know that I am making this up don’t you. Other than the dodo, the other animals I mentioned are all from Dr Doolittle. We do not breed any of them on any of the farms in North Wales.

FOWC with Fandango — Advanced

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/11/11/your-daily-word-prompt-unique-november-11-2018/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/11/finesse/