Blogger Recognition Award

I have been nominated by Noémie from the Focal Heart blog for two blogging awards: the Liebster and the Blogger Recognition Award.  I was nominated for and accepted the Liebster Award in June 2014 so I cannot accept that one again, though I certainly appreciate Noémie nominating me.  In the spirit of community building, however, and in order to direct my readers to some of the many blogs that I read and enjoy, I will happily accept the Blogger Recognition Award.  I cannot recall how I stumbled upon Focal Heart but I certainly recommend that you stumble upon it too.  Noémie’s enthusiasm for creativity is infectious and I always enjoy the way she integrates her son into her creative life given how woven into my creative life my own sons are.

To accept the Award, I am tasked with answering a series of questions.  I hope that you find the answers informative.

1. Tell how this blog got started.

I started this blog almost immediately after emigrating in October 2013.  A friend had suggested that I might start blogging in order to keep everyone informed about what I was getting up to across the ocean and I thought I would give it a bash.  I soon found that blogging helped me process my thoughts and feelings about all my new experiences, the highs and lows, turning the jumble into some sort of order.  Then I found that I enjoyed the interaction with my readers and other bloggers.  I have now been blogging regularly for two years.

2. Give some advice to new bloggers.

I don’t think I am in a position to offer any particular safe advice on blogging.  Just write and keep writing.  That’s it.  Some bloggers have a very tight focus for their subject matter and some post regularly and can schedule their posts in advance.  Since my primary blog is inspired by my daily life, I blog whenever I feel like something has happened that is worth writing about – an experience, an observation, an activity – so my blogging is more haphazard.  Some days I can post multiple times but I probably post two or three times a week on average.  I do schedule posts on my art blog, Pict Ink, but I actually prefer the more organic posting on this blog.  So my secondary advice is to blog about the things you find interesting and work out what style of posting works best for you.

3. What’s your favourite animal and what do you like about them?

There are lots of animals I really like but my most consistent favourite is the pig.  I think they have sweet faces and I like how smart they are.  Pigs turn up a fair bit in my art work.  The animal that turns up even more frequently in my art work, however, is the rabbit.  I think it must be my creative spirit animal.

4. Have you discovered any new music this year? what is your current favourite musician/band? and why?

I have apparently reached that age and stage in my life where I am totally out of touch with contemporary music.  I don’t watch any music television and I listen to NPR on the radio so I just don’t hear contemporary music in passing.  I have become that parent who does not recognise the music my kids are listening to or singing.  I mainly listen to music when I am doing chores that involve me wandering around the house or when I am drawing or painting.  I listen to a lot of older music – largely stuff the same vintage as I am – and a lot of folk music.  What I have mostly listened to this week is Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album and the  Child Ballads by Anais Mitchell.

5. What is that smell?

Right now I can smell freshly baked banana bread.

6. What books are on your bedside table right now?

My kindle is on my bedside table and it is loaded with books. I have just read a few thrillers in a row but currently I am reading through a few issues of the magazine Family Tree.

7.  What do you do when you want to relax?

Art is what I do to relax.  I try to grab some time for art most days.  I break almost all my art projects down into stages so that I can fit art around my priorities and my other commitments and obligations.  That makes it easier to find time for creativity in every day.  I also relax by watching movies with my husband and kids.

8.  What should we do with the drunken sailor early in the morning?

Make him a large bowl of porridge.

9. What’s your favourite place in the world and why?

I completely admit to bias and will answer with Scotland.  It is a fantastic country, rich in culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes.  If you have never been then you should go.  Pack layers though, including waterproof ones.  If I am to pick somewhere other than my homeland, however, I would not hesitate in saying Rome.  I love Rome and would go back in a heartbeat if given the opportunity.

10. What did you have for breakfast this morning?

A cup of tea.

11. Where are you going dressed like that?

I am in my standard mum uniform of jeans and a t-shirt and cosy slippers.

12. Where is your favourite place to go for a walk and why?

I just like walking and exploring whether it is in a city, a town, the countryside, the woods, the coast.  I love travelling, seeing and experiencing new things.  When I think of taking my kids out for a walk, however, I do tend to think of walks in the woods.  There are lots of opportunities for fun in the woods.

13. Why do men have nipples?

Men have nipples because for some reason their nipples develop before their bodies figure out they have XY chromosomes and won’t be needing them.  It’s like nature embarks on a construction project before reading the whole instruction manual.

14.  What’s your favourite drink (hot or cold)?

Tea.  Always tea.  I drink tea every day.  At least once but usually more.

15. Why do they do that?

I ask myself that about my kids all the time.

16. That creepy looking Nosferatu-esque character behind you… who is that?

I love Nosferatu.  He should introduce himself.  We can hang out.  I will pop the kettle on.

17. Goslings are pretty good. Aren’t they?

Multiple Ryans or the birds? Thanks to my husband’s nerdy obsession with ancient Rome, geese always make me think of the sacred geese that acted as guards for Rome, alerting its people to an invasion by the Gauls.


I follow a diverse and eclectic selection of blogs and I enjoy them all – hence my following them in the first place – so it is impossible for me to nominate specific blogs to pay this award forwards.  However, if you read this post and yours is a blog that I follow and you would like to receive the Blogger Recognition Award then please do consider yourself nominated by me.  Perhaps you could write a little about what inspired you to start blogging and what you feel is the best aspect of blogging.

Meanwhile, here are a few of the blogs that I find most diverting at present and which I recommend you check out, certainly not an exhaustive list and in no particular order.  If you like my blog because of my observations about the differences between America and Britain then you will enjoy the witty observations and writing of the authors of This British-American Life and Notes from the UK.  On the subject of wit, you should definitely check out My OBT because Donna’s weekly Etsomnia posts guarantee a good chuckle – and her other posts are always worth reading too.  What I love about Claudia McGill’s poetry – and her art work is wonderful too – is her ability to transform the mundane and everyday into something profound and engaging.  Similarly, Van of Van By The River has an ability to spin deeper truths out of her everyday life and is always worth reading.  Joy’s posts at Joy Loves Travel are also well worth perusing as are the photographs at Fife Photos & Art.  If you are interested in mixed media and art journaling then I heartily recommend Krisje’s posts at Art is my Favorite Color and Carrie Lynn at Carrie Cordero Designs.  Penny’s uplifting drawings at Motivating Giraffe always make me feel happy.  Inspirational photography can be found at Mike Powell’s blog with its beautiful nature photography and informative posts and at Leanne Cole’s photography blog.  I also always enjoy the writings of Glasgow Dragonfly and Mara Eastern.  Do check them all out.


34 thoughts on “Blogger Recognition Award

  1. It was fascinating to read your responses to questions that were occasionally bizarre and unusual. Thanks for the mention too of my blog and for your continuous support and encouragement.

      • Very much so! I agree wit you all along! as I was reading I kept on nodding and commenting out loud “yes! absolutely!” while drinking my good old faithful cuppa tea 😀 I bet you miss Scotland! It must hard to leave such a country behind! I left France behind but I don’t think I could leave Scotland, that’s why I haven’t been there yet! because I know that the day I do, I won’t come back 😀

      • I do miss Scotland and family and friends even though I am also happy in my new life here. I had not appreciated that the settling in, transitional phase would take much longer psychologically than it would to settle in practically and logistically. I am still navigating those choppy seas a bit. How long ago did you leave France?

      • I moved here 9 years ago. It hasn’t always been easy and still sometimes I have my moments. I don’t have any family here (my in laws are in Cornwall) and I haven’t really made any friends here either… I think that perhaps the South East of England isn’t the easiest part of the country for making friends. Here British politeness is at its very best. 9 000 cups of teas and 9 000 hours of small talk later and still, we are not friends:D I believe that northerners and Scottish are way easier. I have noticed that then tend to not take themselves so seriously, and are up for a good laugh 🙂

      • I think it is hard to make friends in some phases of life. I know in our last abode most of my friendships were made by having small kids the same age and going to baby groups and such. I don’t have the same opportunities to meet people any more plus I am no longer in a small community. I have also discovered that I am much more picky with regard to friendships these days, wanting quality over quantity, a solid and sound connection rather than any superficial stuff in common.

      • Yes I’m the same… I can’t be bothered to exhaust myself to make friends… If it works, great, if not… Oh well…
        You’re right though, there are time in life when it seems easier to make friends and other time when it just doesn’t happen… Having kids I guess is probably a part of it… All the persons I socialise with are parents, and the only thing we have in common is that we have kids 😀 we probably wouldn’t have met otherwise… Sometimes it’s interesting for a while: you meet people from different worlds than yours, but mostly it doesn’t go further than chit chat 🙂

      • It was a great way to meet a wide group of people but the ones who became proper, solid friends were those who I had more than motherhood in common with. Now I have to factor in my kids in other ways: it’s difficult to socialize with people who have either no kids or grown kids as we have no one to babysit; and the hanging out as families can be tricky if the two batches of kids don’t totally get along.

      • I watched an old film a few months ago, from 1945, which takes place in Scotland…. we both really loved it. It’s called I know Where I’m going, have you seen it??

      • It’s a great film! Beautifully filmed and great actors too. It’s in b&w and it’s from Powell and Pressburger 🙂 by the way did you guys see Pan…?

      • I like P&P movies so I will need to find this one. It’s possible I have seen it but it didn’t ring any bells.

        No, we didn’t see Pan as it got terrible reviews. We don’t shell out for cinema tickets often so we will save our funds for another movie and catch Pan on the small screen some time.

  2. 😀 Your answers were absolutely perfect! love the way that kind of questionnaire give blogger the opportunity to show a part of themselves that they maybe wouldn’t usually share with their readers… as they are answering someone else’s question, it’s different than blogging your own content 🙂

    • Ha ha! The questions most certainly made me think. As I have said in other replies, I would much rather answer random questions than engage in small talk. Sometimes the answers to peculiar questions can be more revealing anyway. Thanks again for the nomination, Noémie. I appreciate the compliment.

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