It’s been a mixed few days. It was my birthday over the weekend AND I didn’t have to work so it was an extra bonus getting away and seeing my family and reminding my children what I looked like.
However, I am not happy AT ALL about being a year older, so the less said about that the better.
Lots of food has been consumed so I am sitting here now with a nice cup of tea having not eaten anything so far today. This means that all that terrible birthday-cake-junk-laden feasting I did yesterday is effectively halved, right?
That was fun, but one of my pupils made some bad choices (when do teenagers make good choices?) so I had to deal with that which took up a great deal of emotional energy.
On the positive side, and why I am writing this post, the wonderful wonderful mairi57 nominated me for a SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD! When she first mentioned it I just thought she was saying I was a sunny presence on the web and quite cheerful. It was only when I gave it a google I saw it was an actual thing and I had to do something!
I went to bed last night feeling really really chuffed. I only started this blog in December and this affirmation from mairi57 felt that I was entertaining someone and it was worth keeping up with this blogging lark.
This afternoon, feeling on top of the world, I had a scroll through my wordpress stats and NOT ONE PERSON had visited my blog. Not one! Ha! Talk about hubris.
For the first time since I started this nobody had visited my page. I even did that thing of logging on from my work phone to see if there was a problem with the stats collection. So now it shows one lonely visitor (me) who looked at the home page.
How ridiculous I am! It’s like when I would call my mobile from my landline to see if it was working (or vice versa) when I boy I liked hadn’t phoned.
Still. I was dead chuffed to get the nomination from Mairi57. Do go and check out her blog. Called ‘Hitting 60’ it’s stuffed full of poetry, tips on gardening and general musings on life. She was one of the first people to ever comment on my posts.
I’ll never forget sending out my first blog. Entitled ‘This is Me‘, it detailed what was going on in my head and was pretty frank about my insecurities as well as a bit of bragging. Mairi wrote ‘I know that invisible feeling so well.. Chin up. I’ll play Abba while your strumming Nirvana‘
It was exactly what I wanted to hear and kept me going! It has been lovely getting to know her and she is exactly the kind of woman I wanted to connect with: strong, thoughtful and wise (her advice on nightmare daughters has been invaluable.)
These are the rules on what you have to do with the sunshine blog…
The sunshine blogger award is given to those who are creative , positive and inspiring , while spreading sunshine to the blogger community .< em>RulesThank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog .
- Answer the 11 questions you have been asked .
- Nominated 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions .
- List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your post .
Mairi57 has sent me some questions, which I will answer then I will nominate 11 other bloggers. Unfortunately I can’t nominate Mairi57 as she would have been my number 1!
Here are my answers to Mairi57’s questions.
- Do you believe in God or another deity?: No. Not really. I believe in humans – in the sense I am optimistic that we are generally good; but I feel when you die, that’s it. Doesn’t stop me praying when things get tough though, so I am a complete hypocrite.
- Are you a quick thinker or a deep think? Hmm, unfortunately I am a quick thinker. I tend to rush into things and blurt out whatever is in my head. Yes, I am that woman who tells you all about her divorce and medical issues whilst waiting for the bus. I married a very thoughtful, deep thinking man, so I hope he evens us out.
- How long does it take you to write your average sized blog? Varies. Sometimes it takes ages, days and days, sometimes I write it in one sitting. I force myself not to publish it for at least 24 hours so I can look at it again in the cold light of day and edit. Whatever I do and however hard I look, I still find typos and errors and that drives me mad. The beauty of a blog is that you can go back and change it!
- Why do you blog? Ah that is the question. I don’t know, really. I love writing is the main thing. Also connecting with people where you can be yourself in a way you can’t IRL. Also I am an absolute people pleaser so I love it when people find what I write funny or interesting. I was seriously over the moon to be told I had earned 10 cents with my blog through word ads. First time in my life I have ever been paid for writing. Not that I’ve been paid yet, I’ll need a lot more cents before reaching $100 which is when they give you anything.
- How many books do you read a year? Well I am an English teacher so that’s part of the job description. I usually read a novel every two days so, what’s that? Maybe around 200 a year?
- What was the last book you read and when? Just working my way through the Myron Bolitar series of books by Harlan Coben. They are great and I tweeted him to say how much I enjoyed this series and he liked my tweet! I fangirl over people quite a lot. I did the same kind of thing to Jenny Colgan recently as well. I read it over my lunch hour!
- What country are you blogging from? UK
- What is your current profession? Teacher!
- Do you have a hobby outside of work and blogging? Reading is my hobby. And drinking wine
- How many times do you laugh a day? I am surrounded by teenagers and my children are 9 and 12. I am pleased to say I laugh a lot every day. Often to stave off the despair.
- Were the above questions thought provoking? Yes. I enjoyed answering them – thank you!
I now have to nominate 11 bloggers which is really hard as there are so many to choose from! Here we go…
- It’s got to be Keda who writes the blog ‘My Vantage Point’. She had me from the moment I went to her blog and saw the headline: ‘Navigating life with a vagina’ She is funny, raucous and her post on getting a smear done had me crying with laughter. Another was ‘Get your kegal on, ladies’ and that was pretty funny too. She is honest, direct and hilarious about being a single parent and getting older.
- Elena Peters is an extremely well-established and respected blogger. I found her posts invaluable when I was starting up. She also writes fantastically upfront articles – she’ll say things like ‘when I see this kind of article it makes me spew chunks.’ Another favourite is ‘Facebook can suck my balls’ I love her for her directness, humour and wisdom. Also, and this is very important, she has tens of thousands of followers, but she took the time to follow me and answer my queries and gave really useful advice. A great gal who is rocking mid-life.
- I always do a little jump of joy when Catherine over at Atypical60 sends out a blog. She is hilarious with her tales of Bonaparte, Chippy the Dog, wig experimentation and make up tips. She also took the time to answer an individual query I had about a delicious looking recipe she posted. A recent blog about her laptop fury had me in stitches. She always brightens up my day.
- It was through Catherine that I connected with Juliet who writes a blog called ‘The Embellished Existence‘ – great name! As a transplanted Kiwi she writes about her children, her plants, middle-age, menopause, knitting… the list goes on and on. I really enjoy the variety of her subject matter; throughout she writes with a consistently wonderful, warm, witty, and powerful voice which informs all her blog with humour and kindness.
- Ethan Bayes writes a great blog about film and I particularly enjoy it when he gets his mum to see a film and write a review, he then writes his and presents both perspectives. He is my connection with young people and writes about films I may not necessarily have chosen for myself. His reviews have persuaded me to go and watch films outside my usual choices, and I have always enjoyed them. He is currently on a project to watch and review a film every day of the week which sounds exhausting! I still feel bad for writing a comment on one of his posts saying how much I liked it but couldn’t resist pointing out a grammatical error! Sorry, it’s the teacher in me. I can’t control her sometimes.
- I discovered Nikki over at Midlife Chic quite early on and adore her ideas for clothes. She looks absolutely amazing and has already given me so many ideas about what to wear. I like that she always tries to help you find the item or something similar. It’s such a pain when you see a gorgeous coat or pair of boots and they say ‘and I found this little number in a flea market in Paris.’ Grrr! Nikki will not only find it but will let you know if it’s on sale! She talks about losing her style mojo after having children – I can relate to that – but she has obviously rediscovered it, and how. Have a look.
- Jamie’s blog ‘More than Turquoise‘ is another style blog which gives me some great ideas and the whole thing is so stylish it hurts. She has some great ideas and writes with real passion and enthusiasm for all aspects of living well with style.
- ‘Invisible No More‘ is a blog I immediately connected with on a deep and personal level. It even chimed with my own ‘About Me’ post where I talked about the sadness of growing old and becoming invisible to the world. I’ve just realised I don’t actually know the author’s first name beyond ‘dtills’! But anyway, I love her writing and how she will not take any rubbish from anyone and is out climbing mountains and doing her thing. She is an inspiration.
- Considering The Lockwood Echo is inspired by a forced Christmas redundancy, this is a surprisingly cheerful and life-affirming blog. There is quite a lot of references to breakfast, and I enjoy the meanderings of Lockwood’s day. Gentle, wise and often satirically funny, it is well worth a read.
- The DeFat blog will make you cry and then immediately makes you laugh. The tag line is ‘The adventures of a binge-eater taking her body back after menopause.’ But that’s not all it is about. She will make you wince at times with her honesty and the pain can be raw sometimes. But the voice is intelligent, thoughtful and compelling.
- I am so pleased I stumbled across Claudette’s blog ‘Writer of Words etc.‘ When I read her descriptions of being a Hockey mom, dealing with recalcitrant children, shopping, stew-stealing partners and coping with tweens I laughed out loud. It was the laughter of absolute recognition. Whatever country you live in, I think all women can connect by sharing stories of getting children up in the morning and worries about how to teach kids to deal with this world of technology. Claudette is funny, weary and wise and her honesty and forthrightness makes hers a voice everyone should hear.
To follow the rules I am supposed to now ask these bloggers to nominate 11 bloggers they like and answer my 11 questions, before asking their bloggers 11 questions of their own.
My questions for you, my favourite bloggers
- If you’ve learned anything as you’ve got older, what have you learned?
- Why do you blog and what got you started?
- What’s your confidence boosting go-to outfit?
- What’s the best comment you’ve ever received on your blog?
- What makes you laugh?
- What’s the last thing to happen that made you lose your temper?
- Write a line of poetry you can remember off by heart – no googling!
- What song ALWAYS gets you on the dance floor?
- If you had an unexpected relative or friend turn up to Christmas and you had to find them a present – what would you give them?
- What’s your guilty pleasure?
- Tell me a joke…