Versatile? A nomination.

I’ve seen a few people, just occasionally saying things about Blogging Awards, but it would never happen to me.  Fellow bloggers nominate others when they feel they are doing a great job.  Wow!  Amazing talent some people have!  They deserve it – there is some fantastic stuff out there.

So when Laura Maisey, wrote to me, I simply could not believe it.  Thanks Laura.  Laura’s blog has taken the form of an alphabet until early May.  Now she has finished the series, she continues to write humorously about her studies and cooking adventures.  I like her sense of humour.

So, what does this nomination mean?  Well, apparently, the form is to tell Laura, and you, seven things about myself…umm…

I’m intense at times.  Determined to achieve.  I laugh a lot when things go wrong, because I know it’s the best way to face adversity. I was brought up in a pub in the East End of London.  I married when I was 19 and I still have the same husband, John, who I love.  I learned to ride a horse at the age of 40 and became passionate about it, mucking out on a Saturday, taking my road aware exam, winning rosettes at the dressage, taking out hacks – the works: then almost overnight stopped, partly through a back pain and a sore knee.

Next, I need to nominate 15 bloggers for the award!  This is hard. How do I judge versatility?  NO, I can only tell you what I like to read.

So, here we go…

Victor, I have to choose you!  I have been following you for the longest and I love your travel stories.  Victor eats at some of the most interesting restaurants and shares his meal with us.  You will find him on

I love seeing other people’s photography and some of my favourite sites have brilliant photos.  Smallfox  have some stunning nature pictures.  Whilst I was in Australia, this blog often inspired me to think of places to go, especially the advice on Jervis Bay, near Sydney.

Another ‘companion’ I felt along my journey was Mummarazzi, who shared photos from Melbourne zoo and whale watching, which I really enjoyed.

Another favourite photography site is the wonderful Photobotos who present guest photographers and reveal their secrets of how they achieve such incredible photos.  Some of their stuff in out of this world.  Have a look for their underwater guests.

Davesnature is my next nomination. Alongside each beautiful photo is some information about the bird or beast.  Simple and stunning, I always hold my breath when entering his blog, because the photos are so wonderful and I love the informative way he explains his life and work.

Check out the work of PhotoNature who has some stunning photos of birds in flight.

The photos found on Steven are awesome.  He has a particular way with light which I find very beautiful.

Nik Bond is my next photographer.  He makes me laugh because he tells us how he has set up his shot in such a way that I get a perfect picture of his flat and flatmates!  He tells me all the technical stuff, but honestly it is his prose that I look forward to.  Quite simply he is a brilliant experimenter.

Shards of China is a very different kind of blog.  This is an expat based in Shenzhen, China, who writes about all aspects of life.  A professional writer, I believe, who comes across with great insight into China and life.

Scott Brill holds a special place in my blog reading.  His Pieces of Me and Other Sundry Things is incredibly varied.  At times he has me moved to tears with a description of Aspergers, which I found so true from the children I have taught.  Other times his photos of family life simply lift my day.

I hope Shelley will forgive me for nominating her. Her blog is quite personal, written mainly for members of her family when she travels.  I seem to have dropped in by chance, simply because she was the first blogger I found who declared themselves retired!  Destination Now helps me keep track of my first blogger friend.  Shelley volunteers for several months of the year and then arranges fantastic voyages in exotic places for other times.  I genuinely feel she has become a friend but I have never met her. We give each other encouragement from different continents!

Then I have picked up a few active people who I admire simply because they are so vibrant:

Second Hand Surfer put me right when I was beginning my Boogie Boarding and misnamed the activity!  He takes some great photos, and recently has a portfolio of people shots from Costa Rica. 

Then, there is Kyle Simmons who’s Climbing Bum blog puts me to shame.  But I nominate him because he always spares the time to reply to my mundane comments and because he has the best adventures ever and, if I were 35 years younger, I would ask him to take me too!

Malou is so refreshing.  She writes of her family life with such joy and enthusiasm.  Her family are very lucky to have her because she finds such pleasure in simple things.  She describes living in Holland brilliantly.  As she is a Filipino originally, she brings a fresh perspective to her observations.

Finally, I would like to nominate Sharansblog.  I’ve only just discovered this one, while I was browsing the ‘retired’ topic – which is often very dull and littered with people who want to make money from retirees.  This is a remarkable blog: honest and startling.  I’m really pleased I found it.


So, there you have it: 15 blogs I have enjoyed reading.  All of them I nominate for Versatile Blogger.  The trouble is, Laura, I am not sure how to tell them that they are all brilliant. Apart form including their names here.  

You are all fantastic.  Some of you have become familiar friends, whom I have never met, I look forward to hearing from regularly.  Others inspire me with tales of adventure, whilst others inspire me with photos, reminding me what an amazing world we live in.  Thank you all for your bogs!Image

Strop over! Let’s enjoy life!

I’ll not beat about the bush!  It was dreadful!

I hated being back home from 6 months travel.  Poor Mr was a final straw.  I simply stopped, sulked and shouted a bit!

I still miss Mr.  He was a fantastic cat.  The other two seem slightly relieved it is over.  Perhaps they knew he was suffering.

Topping that, the house is still full of two families belongings.  My wonderful daughter, her husband and son have done a great job at cleaning and caring but their things have entered the fabric of the building.  We are only just beginning to see how to extricate them from us!

They plan to move from London to Devon.  Although they have job prospects, nothing substantive has been finalised yet.  As a consequence they are finding it hard to leave.  Besides, I honestly wanted them to stay on for a little while so I could get to know my grandson again after our six months apart.

He is gorgeous!  I’m amazed by his sense of humour!  Before we traveled, we were lucky enough to see him nearly every day sometimes, and certainly every week.  So we both felt there was a lot to catch up on.

We decided it was time to go on an outing.  Three generations packed into the car: it’s a Mini so ‘packed’ is the right word. I had forgotten how much space a 20 month old takes with all his paraphernalia!

Polsedon Lacey is the headquarters for the National Trust in Southern England, some 4 miles from Dorking, Surrey.  It was bought by Mrs Greville, an Edwardian hostess, in 1906 and became a fabulous venue for weekend parties, including visits by royalty. Best for a toddler are the gardens.  At this time of year, there are fabulous displays of tulips.

Keoni is very keen on nature and ‘ohh-ed and ah-ed’ well at the displays.  The hen house is a new feature, which I had not seen before; Keoni loved it.

He was quite keen to explore the flower beds and look for minibeasts.  In fact, he must have walked for miles on the muddy grass, simply because he will not walk in a straight line!

Ok, so maybe it’s not so bad, being here!  We had a great day out!  Thanks Keoni.