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Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Two of my fellow bloggers have been kind enough to bestow upon me the Blog of the Year Award 2012, which was jolly nice of them.

Both Meg Travels and All Things Boys saw fit to nominate my blog, and I would like to thank them for their good wishes and pass mine on to others.

(Incidentally, if you click on my links and they don’t open a new window, I don’t know why that is because I did tick the box asking it to do that – one of the peculiarities of WordPress, perhaps.)

Blog of the Year Award 2 star jpeg

As with all such awards there are various rules (which can be found here), one of which is that you can nominate as many or as few blogs as you like. I decided to choose three.

There are many blogs I subscribe to, more that I dip in and out of, and some that I’ve only read a post or two from over the year, and I’m grateful to all of them for supplying me with reading material. There truly is a treasure trove on offer in the blogosphere.

treasure chest

Image from Dorling Kindersley

I chose my three based on the education I feel I’ve received this year. Anyone who can teach me anything useful or interesting gets a big thumbs up from me, and these three have done just that.

teacher-tips

image from ministry-to-children.con

1. Cauldrons and Cupcakes – Nicole is the writer of this fine blog, and one of her outstanding attributes is her ability to communicate. You just need to look at the comments people leave on every post to see how she touches others and makes them feel she’s speaking directly to them. Before I began my blog I started writing a self-improvement book, which remains unfinished. When I began reading Cauldrons and Cupcakes I felt I was in the presence of a master, and where I had struggled to explain some concepts in my book, I found Nicole dealt with them with ease and grace. As if that weren’t enough she’s also a wonderful cook and baker and I’ve made some of her recipes with great success. All in all, the gal is a class act.

2. The Hazel Tree – Jo writes this blog, along with her other entertaining blog, Jo’s Journal. Writing one blog is a big enough job, but keeping two on the go at once is hugely impressive, and Jo does it beautifully, giving each its own flavour. With The Hazel Tree, Jo brings history to life for me. History was my worst subject at school, and since then I’ve struggled to embrace it. Things are changing now that I read Jo’s blog, because she has a real knack of presenting what I would previously have thought of as dull facts in an interesting and enlightening way. It’s not only history she writes about, but all sorts of other things (including her delightful cat, Purdey, and the amazing paintings of her husband, Colin), and I always look forward to settling down to read a new post on either of her blogs.

3. The Naturephile – Finn, who writes this blog, is the sort of scientist I can only dream about being. I toiled through a degree in Ecology and, although I enjoyed it, I did find it hard to get a good grasp on the business, and I still often feel all at sea with science. Finn’s enthusiasm, coupled with his fine attention to detail and academic nouse, is what makes The Naturephile one of my favourite blogs. Every time I read a post on his blog I learn something new and fascinating, something I probably always wanted to know, without knowing that I wanted to know it. He illustrates his posts with beautiful wildlife photography, which always leaves me feeling good about the world.

Thank you to all three blogs, and to all the many others I read and enjoy. I’m looking forward to blogging along with you in 2013.

14472145-new-year-2013-on-the-beach

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Some time ago, two fellow bloggers very kindly gave me awards that I have not yet thanked them for publicly.

Aparna from Midnight Hues Poetry gave me the Versatile Blogger Award and Ashley from Backyard Provence bestowed the Very Inspiring Blogger Award on me. Due to the generous nature of this blogging community, I had already received these awards, but I was most grateful to have them again from two bloggers who have provided me with some excellent reading material.

Today, I received another two awards from Meg at Meg Travels and these two are awards I’ve never had before.

The first one is the Illuminating Blogger Award:

The rules for accepting the award are:

  • to visit the award site Food Stories and leave a comment indicating that I’ve been nominated and by whom
  • to thank the person that nominated me by including a link to their blog
  • to share one random thing about myself
  • to select at least five other bloggers whose illuminating, informative posts I enjoy reading, and nominate them for the award

I’ve visited the Food Stories site and left my comment as instructed, and I heartily recommend a visit to Meg’s blog, which has lots of wonderful photos on it and little stories of her trips and travels around the world. Thank you Meg for this award.

One random fact is that garlic is the only vegetable I can think of that I don’t like.

I find illuminating, informative posts all over the place on the blogosphere and so this list is just a taster of wonderful things, but I’m inclulding these blogs particularly because I frequently feel illuminated, informed and inspired by all of them:

The Hazel Tree

The Naturephile

Writing From Scotland

Journeys to Scotland

Cauldrons and Cupcakes

 

The second award from Meg is the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award:

For this one I have to again pass the award on to 5 blogs and share 7 things about myself.

The blogs are:

Tea with Betty

Bringing Europe Home

Leanne Cooking For the Family

The Cosy Creative

Make and Bake with Bert 

Seven things about myself:

  • I eat cereal with fruit for my evening meal just about every night
  • I have a weakness for new shampoos
  • I got my first pay packet aged 15, working in a record shop on Saturdays
  • I have a weakness for stationery
  • Earlier this year I started a writing course that was meant to lead to me becoming a published author on completing the course; I’ve only done the first assignment so far, but I’ve published a book, so I’m doing it the wrong way round
  • I have a weakness for second-hand books
  • I would quite like to do a course in French polishing

Just as I was about to publish this post, I received another award from The Charmed Cupcake:

Thank you very much to Angela for that. Her blog has a wonderful subtitle: “Cupcakes are an important part of a balanced diet”. Angela lives in Austria, a country I once visited when I was about 7 years old on a family holiday, and I like the way she introduces herself on her blog; in her words: “People call me Angela, Ange or Angie – whatever suits their personality”. My instinct was to call her Angela, so I don’t know what that says about me, perhaps that I’m rather a formal sort of British person.

The rules for this one are to thank the person who nominated me, tell people 7 things about myself and pass it on to 7 other blogs. Since I’ve just mentioned 7 things for the previous award, I’ll borrow those for that bit of this award and nominate the following blogs:

Idun in Scotland

That Doodling Gal

Cocina de Nihacc

Backyard Provence

Tea Buddy

Ummanaal’s Musings

Midnight Hues Poetry

Thank you to everyone who’s given me these awards, and to all of the nominees for providing great blogs for me to read.

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Some very kind fellow bloggers have bestowed awards on me recently and I’m afraid I’ve been rather remiss about passing them on.

As with my previous awards post, I’m going to break the rules and combine them all (which is a bit cheeky but I seem to have got away with it last time).

The lovely Tania of taniajessicasmith (as soon as you click on this link you’ll see her incredibly impressive make-up!) takes beautiful photos and has been to some amazing places.  She awarded me the Blog on Fire Award:

The lovely Meg of megtravelling awarded me two awards: the Sunshine Blog Award and the Genuine Blogger Award. I’ve done a bit of travelling in the past and have been lucky enough to see quite a few of the places I always wanted to see. These days I generally feel quite content to be an armchair traveller, but I must admit that some of the posts on Meg’s blog really make me want to see more places for myself, and maybe one day I will. Just as I was composing this post I also received the Sunshine Award from the lovely Fundemental, and then the lovely Nicole at cauldronsandcupcakes so thank you all very much!

The lovely Robin of bringingeuropehome awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. Robin’s blog is a very satisfying mixture of Europe (where she’s travelled and lived) and America (where she’s from and now lives) and her posts always show me something new and interesting I didn’t know before:

Each of these awards comes with its own rules, but if I obey them I’ll never get this post finished and I’ve been trying to get it done for ages now. So, I’m just going to make up my own rules, which is very impudent, I know.

I have decided to give each award to the people the award made me instantly think of, however many or few that happened to be, although I realise they may well have had the award before. I know this is bad and very cheeky, but alas sometimes I get that way and no matter how much of a talking to I give myself, I fail to take any notice of it.

The Blog on Fire Award goes to anunrefinedvegan and girlinafoodfrenzy because both of these lovely ladies have blogs that are completely on fire! I don’t know how they do it but they are both amazingly productive when it comes to blogging about their wonderful food. They both astonish me, on an almost daily basis, with their culinary skills. I would also like to give it to cauldronsandcupcakes because Nicole is a truly astonishing blogger. I think I’m right in saying that she does a post every day, and very often they’re extremely thought-provoking and inspiring. I am constantly amazed by her ability to put out so much high quality content, which I know is appreciated by many other bloggers.

The Sunshine Award goes to thenaturephile, desayunosveganos, itsonlyerica and land-sea-sky because all of these blogs brighten my day when I look at their blogs. (In fact, this happens with all the blogs I read regularly, but these four jumped into my mind in particular when I thought about who to give the award to.)

The Genuine Blogger Award goes to mehmudahrehman and sukirthasphotography because both of these delightful ladies have strongly held beliefs that they bring to their blogs in a gracious and humbling manner. I may not share their beliefs but I do respect them and I appreciate the way in which they put their views across. I would also like to give it to Mike, who probably doesn’t want it (sorry, Mike, just ignore this if you like!) because I think he is a genuinely nice chap with a genuninely nice blog.

The Versatile Blogger Award goes to jo’sjournal, allsparkleduptimefortea, teabuddy and gippslandgranny – all of whom are very versatile ladies with a whole host of different and most admirable skills.

I feel sure that this time, as happened last time I did this, I will think of other blogs I wished I’d given the awards to over the next day or two. However, all I can say is that if I’ve ever visited your blog and clicked ‘like’, then thank you.

Lately, with the dodgy wrist business, I haven’t been reading as many blog posts as I used to, because I’m trying to use my computer less. I also haven’t been posting very much, and this makes it all the more amazing that I’ve had all these awards, so thank you again to everyone who has given me an award, to everyone who reads my blog, and to everyone who provides such great material for me to drop by and read.

Here’s to you, every marvellous blogger tapping away! I hope to visit you soon, and thank you for visiting me.

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Buses, and other good things, often come in threes. So it’s been for me over the past few days when, quite astonishingly, I’ve been given three different blog awards.

First up is the 7×7 Link Award, bestowed upon me by the lovely Meg of Meg Travels.

Meg, as her blog name suggests, does a lot of travelling. Her blog is filled with wonderful words and pictures of all the places she trots off to round the globe. Maybe she’s been somewhere you’ve been or would like to go – why not have a look and see. She’s got a list of places very handily arranged by country (I wish my blog was this well organised).

The second award was the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, gifted from the lovely Nicole of Cauldrons and Cupcakes:

Nicole writes beautifully uplifting and encouraging posts about happiness, positive thinking, spirituality and other worthwhile pursuits, and I always benefit from what she’s written. Like many of her readers, I often feel she’s written a post specifically for me. This reminds me that however different we are, in some essential ways we’re all very alike, which is reassuring and comforting.

Award number 3 is the Kreativ Blogger Award, which I received from the lovely Letizia of Dutch Goes Italian:

Letizia is half Dutch, half Italian, and brings that fascinating mix to her blog. Along with some delicious-looking food and drink, she introduces her readers to the less well-known Italy, rather than highlighting the usual touristy places.  If you’ve never been to Italy, Letizia’s photos will surely inspire you to visit, and if you have been you’ll no doubt want to go back and find all these hidden gems.

All of these awards come with rules, which I really ought to stick to. However, because 3 came along at once, I’ve decided to naughtily combine them and make up my own rules for how to deal with them. For each award I’m supposed to nominate 7 other bloggers, but instead I’m going to nominate 3 for each one, making a total of 9, which isn’t that far off 7 but much more manageable than 21. If this offends your sense of decency and fair play I quite understand and apologise. It’s very unprofessional of me, but ever since I became self-employed last year I’ve felt I could make this sort of God-like decision.

I’m also supposed to provide 7 links to my own post for the first award, give 7 facts you probably don’t know about me for the second one, and tell you 7 interesting things about myself for the third. To make this (to my mind, at least) in some way coherent, I’m going to again do 3, 3 and 3.

Award no.1, the 7×7 Link Award goes to:

And the links to my own posts are:

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award goes to:

Three facts you probably don’t know about me:

  • I can, or at least used to be able to (I haven’t tried it for years, but perhaps it’s like riding a bike) ride a unicycle
  • When I was a child, I wanted to be a gymnast when I grew up
  • I’m such a wreck these days that I can’t even touch my toes without bending my knees

The Kreativ Blogger Award goes to:

Three things about me that might be vaguely interesting:

  • When I draw with my left hand I’m more creative than with my right (I’m right-handed and my left-handed drawings come out a right old mess, but all the same I think they’re more creative)
  • I had a strict religious upbringing and was firmly disciplined as a child. Nowadays this level of strictness would be frowned upon but I think it was the perfect parenting strategy because my mum and dad are my two favourite people in the world.
  • I get seasick virtually every time I go on a boat, but despite this I choose to work at sea because when I’m not being sick I love it.

Thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who cheer my days with their interesting, witty, imaginative and inspiring blogs. There are many more than I’ve mentioned here, but a special thank you to the ones in this post who have brought me lots of happy reading lately.

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If you know any German, you may be aware that the word ‘liebster’ means ‘dearest’ or ‘favourite’ and is pronounced ‘leebster’. If, like me, you’re an ignorant Scot with virtually non-existent German, you might wrongly pronounce the ‘lie’ bit as it sounds in the English word ‘lie’, meaning to ‘be or stay at rest in a horizontal position’.

Confusion is added, for me at least, by the fact that there is a town in Scotland called Lybster, way up in the far north in a region called Caithness, which is pronounced ‘lie-bster’, as in the horizontal resting position.

To finally get to the point of this post, there is also a thing called the Liebster Blog Award:

I recently received one of these Liebster awards from Annie of the excellent An Unrefined Vegan blog, and hazarding a guess that ‘liebster’ was a German word, I consulted my German speaking mother on its meaning, but not knowing how to pronounce it I asked her like this:

Me (mispronouncing and then spelling it out): ‘Liebster, L-i-e-b-s-t-e-r’, what does it mean?.’

My mum: “L-y-b-s-t-e-r, it’s a town in Caithness.’

Me: ‘No, L-i-e’

My mum: ‘It’s definitely spelt with a ‘y”

Me (amused): ‘Yes, but what does L-i-e-b-s-t-e-r mean?’

My mum: ‘Oh, you mean Leeeeebster, well if you don’t pronounce it properly…..’

So, anyway, what is a Liebster award?  I copied this explanation from Annie’s blog:

A Liebster Blog Award is given to talented bloggers who have less than 200* followers. So, in a way the award not only recognizes these bloggers as amazingly gifted in their own right but also as your very own personal favorites.”

Very nice to be picked for one, thank you Annie, but it comes with some responsibility. I now have the  pleasant task of presenting this award to a further 5 blogs of 200 followers or less that I feel deserve to be noticed. This is not an easy task, since I have been reading rather a lot of wonderful blogs since I started my own one a month ago, but after some agonising I’ve picked these 5:

1.     For some reason, I don’t know why, I can’t copy a photo from the first blog, but it really is worth a look:

http://desayunosveganos365veganbreakfasts.wordpress.com/

It’s very simple, with a beautiful photograph of a different vegan breakfast every day. I love seeing what’s on the menu every day and the photos are always exellent.

2.

http://christinelaennec.co.uk/

A really beautifully written blog, I always feel better for reading whatever Christine’s written.

3.

http://nickexposed.com/

This blog always makes me smile, Nick is so enthusiastic about his photography and takes such amazing shots, sometimes of mundane things that wouldn’t perhaps seem at all noteworthy until you see the way he frames and describes them.

4.

http://hugmore.wordpress.com/

I find this blog thought-provoking and inspiring and I particularly enjoy the creative writing of Flash Fiction, which always has me gripped.

5.

http://bojophoto.wordpress.com/

There are so many good photography blogs but Bojo’s portraits, whether of humans or animals, are superb.

So, that’s the Liebster Blog Award. I now have to let each of the above know they’re reward recipients, and then it’s their turn to nominate other bloggers.

*I really don’t know how you find out how many followers a particular blog has. I know my own, and some people have the number of followers displayed on their blog, but for everyone else I have no idea. I mention this in case I ‘m bestowing this award upon anyone who has more than 200 followers and feels miffed. 

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