The Liebster Award
I made a lot of new blogging friends during April’s A to Z Challenge, and afterwards two of them very kindly nominated me for a Liebster Award. They were Birgit of BB Creations, who specialises in crafts but wrote about old movie stars for A to Z, and Lori of Writing, reading and the pursuit of dreams who writes about her “self-publishing journey and other literary moments.” You should definitely check them both out!
So what is a Liebster Award, I hear you ask? It’s awarded by bloggers to fellow bloggers and the rules are:
1: List 11 random facts about yourself.
2: Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
3: Nominate 11 more blogs who have fewer than 200 followers and let them know they’ve been nominated.
4: Post 11 new questions for those bloggers to answer.
My first reaction was gratitude at being recognised. However, this took place in May so you will notice that there has been a significant time-lapse. That’s because my second reaction was “What on earth shall I write!?” 11 facts, two sets of 11 questions and 11 new questions – 44 things to think about! I quickly realised my mistake – one set of 11 facts would do, whittling it down to 33, but I still haven’t managed it. However, over the last couple of weeks, I have been jotting down answers to Birgit and Lori’s questions and some of them were even the same! So I’m ready to partially answer the challenge. Here we go!
- What animal do you always visit at the zoo or watch on TV before any other? Why? I haven’t been to a zoo in years; I don’t approve of captive animals. As a former cat owner, I love to watch felines, large or small.
- What accomplishment are you most proud of? If you use “accomplishment” in the sense of a skill, such as singing or drawing for example, I am remarkably accomplishment-free. Using it to mean achievement – hmm, I’m still struggling. I’ve had a happy and successful life so far, both personally and professionally, but I’ve long since accepted I’m never going to set the heather on fire. A life of small but significant triumphs will do me!
- If you won the lottery, what would you do? I’m unlikely to win the lottery because I never play it! I’m very lucky to be content with what I have, but if I came into a large sum of money I don’t think I would be selfless enough to give it ALL away. I’d like to ensure my old age would be secure, allowing enough to travel the world as long as I am fit, help out friends and family who needed it, then find some good causes for the rest.
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go? I’m really very happy in Scotland! I’ll be even happier in September if we have voted to build the juster, fairer society I know we have the potential to become. I would love to live in other places for a few months at a time though – places that I’ve enjoyed on holiday and would like to get to know in more depth. Hong Kong for example.
- Name 5 things you like about yourself. 1) Ok, let’s start with appearance. I’ve never been entirely happy with that, but the great thing about getting older is I find I no longer care so much. I’ve always thought I had great legs though! In terms of qualities, I think I’m 2) honest 3) loyal 4) kind and 5) modest.
- What’s your favourite holiday and why? About 15 years ago we went to the Galápagos Islands. I’m not sure anything will ever top that – it was awe-inspiring to get so close to the wildlife. Some day I’ll write about it on this blog.
- What is your favourite film? Your favourite actor/actress? Favourite film is hard. I tend to watch things once and then forget about them. One that haunts me though is The lives of others – two hours of German with subtitles, yet absolutely riveting. I couldn’t take my eyes away. Very dark, but with the possibility of redemption at the end. Favourite actor? I fell in love with Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy at exactly the same moment that Jennifer Ehle’s Lizzie Bennett did in the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride and prejudice – having previously criticised the casting because “she could never fall for him”. That’s acting! My other favourite Firth role is his flawless study of grief and loss in Tom Ford’s A single man. The scene in which he is told on the phone that his (male) partner has been killed and the funeral is “family only” focuses on his face, and you can read his every emotion without him saying a word.
- Which movie or TV show do you wish was gone from your sight? Any so-called “reality TV”. But then, I don’t have to watch it, so each to her own.
- Which entertainer do you feel needs a good spanking and be sent to a farm to work? Anyone covered by the answer to Q8!
- Who do you admire, living or dead? It’s clichéd to choose them, but two recent great losses are Nelson Mandela and Maya Angelou. Both can be admired for many reasons – one of the most remarkable things about both, to me, was their seemingly total lack of bitterness and their ability to forgive.
- What makes you smile? My husband. Usually.
- What is the best place you’ve visited? See Q6 above.
- What’s the most unusual thing you’ve done? Sticking to holidays, we once came home with loads of photographs of diggers and earth movers. I don’t think that’s usual. Why was that? Well, one day, the whole story will be told here so you can’t possibly expect me to give away spoilers!
- What’s your favourite movie? See Q7 above.
- What’s your favourite flavour of ice cream? Um, vanilla! Is that really boring? Though I’m not averse to a bit of chocolate sauce on it.
- What fictional character do you like best? I’m a big Jane Austen fan, as you might have gathered. I come back to her again and again and my favourite heroine is not Lizzie, but Emma. She’s so wrong about so many things, but in the end she realises that. I always think Lizzie is a little self-deceiving in her change of heart about Darcy. It did follow awfully quickly after seeing the size of his estate….
- What’s the best book you’ve read this year? Two contenders. I succumbed to the hype and read Donna Tartt’s Goldfinch – definitely flawed, and I don’t agree it’s Pulitzer material, but wow, what a page-turner. I’m a member of a book group, and my biggest discovery with them so far is March by Geraldine Brooks. It takes the father from Little Women and imagines the story of his Civil War experiences. If you want to know why I liked it so much, you can read my review. I was later inspired to go on and read one of her other books, but unfortunately it didn’t have the same effect at all.
- Why should people read and follow your blog? My blog is really for me – it’s my personal travel diary, but I’m very happy if others find it interesting too. I originally meant to stick to foreign holidays, but I’ve written more and more about Scotland and my home city of Glasgow, which I hope might inspire people to visit this country.
- Morning person or night owl? Morning, definitely. I wake up very early, and I think if I lived entirely alone, on a desert island say, my daily rhythm would probably shift by several hours.
- What’s at the top of your bucket list? There are lots of places I haven’t been that I’d love to go to. At the top would be the Antarctic, but that will have to wait until we are both retired and have the time to make it worth while.
- What do you consider your most important personality trait? Take your pick from Q5 above!
- Have you ever performed or been the recipient of a random act of kindness and what was it? The most recent thing I can think of is when I dropped my driving licence. The person who found it delivered it to my door straight away. I wasn’t home yet, so he left it with a neighbour and I got it back before I even knew it was gone. He wouldn’t leave any contact details and I’ve never been able to thank him, so on the very remote chance he’s reading this – thanks! You saved me a lot of bother.
So there we are! Better late than never, and better partial than not at all – I hope Birgit and Lori think so anyway. Thank you once again, ladies, for thinking of me.