Saturday, 30 March 2013

Liebster Award Review

Many thanks to the following nominees who have responded to my Liebster Award nominations so far:

Culture Cocktails
A dairy farm born strawberry lover who loves the sea

A Smile a Day
A music lover who wants a tattoo, preferably not on a bus!

You have both inspired me more than you know. Great to see you have sent out your own nominations. I look forward to seeing what comes back.

By the way, I've signed up for the 2013 A to Z Challenge. I wonder if you are interested?

All the best. Keep blogging!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Lucky to be Alive

Have you ever thought how lucky you are to be alive? It seems like such a simple thought, but it's only when you really look at it that it becomes apparent just how lucky (or unlucky, depending upon your perspective) you really are.

When I consider my life, for example, I can remember almost being run down by a car when I was about 8 or 10 years old. I was being cocky and the driver thought he was going to teach me a lesson. As I leapt out of the path of his accelerating vehicle my trailing foot was caught by his front bumper, which almost tripped me up. I don't think I ever told my parents! It's easy to see what could have happened if I had been half a second slower, or he was half a second quicker. Am I being a little melodramatic here? I don't think so; how many kids are killed on our streets each and every year? It happens!

Now think about your parents. What were their lucky escapes? What illnesses did they have to overcome? How many trees did your father nearly fall out of? If he had died in his teens; if your mother had not made it to childbearing age, you simply would never have lived - ever!

What about your grandparents? They will have lived through at least one world war. My father's house was completely bombed out when he was about 8 or 10 years old. But he had been evacuated to Aberystwyth in Wales and my grandparents were in the bomb shelter or somewhere else. They were never able to live there again. If my grandmother had not been able to send her son away, what then? If they had remained at home and taken a chance that day...

But it's this next thought that really blows my mind. Think about the countless generations of your direct ancestors, going way back down the centuries and even many millennia; right back to their dim and distant past - an unbroken line of parentage eventually leading to you. How many lives make up that lineage? What were the chances of just one of those ancestors actually surviving to procreate? How many individuals even survived childbirth all those years ago? Even in relatively recent times life expectancy was pitifully low. How much more so ten thousand years ago? Now let's take a leap back a few millions of years. Your direct ancestor would be very different from you, but would be your ancestor nonetheless; your great, great, great, great etc (you get the point) grandparent. Somewhere out there he or she would be roaming the earth, sometimes barely surviving and on the lookout for predators. But that ancestor made it through another day... and another... and another... and lived long enough to pass on its precious genes to the next generation. The numbers of ways that any of your ancestors could have met their premature end are legion. If even a single one of them had failed, you would never have existed. I hope that the sheer magnitude of that thought makes you pause at the improbability of your existence. But here you are, reading this blog and you are oh so alive.

So what are you going to do today? If you are anything like me you will go to work, eat, sleep, argue with your spouse from time to time; any of the mundane things people do. But maybe you will do it all with a renewed appreciation for just how lucky, literally, you are to be doing it.

For my part, I will get up early tomorrow morning and take a walk down to the beach and breath in the cold, salty, morning air and be thankful that I am alive another day.

Friday, 22 March 2013

The Liebster Award

I'm very pleased to announce that I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Rachael Featherstone. Thank you Rachael.
I have it on good authority (Writer Rachael) that the Liebster Award originates in Germany and is a sort of 'pay it forward' for bloggers; a way to get to know other blogs and, in turn, get them knowing you. Sounds like a win-win to me! It's worth noting that the origins of this award seem to be lost in the mists of time. But, no matter, it's a great way to give recognition to other bloggers out there who have fewer than 200 followers and to spur them on to keep blogging. So here are the rules:
Liebster Award Rules
  1. Post the award on your blog (like I'm doing here)
  2. Remember to thank the blogger who nominated you for the award and display a link back to their blog
  3. Write 11 random facts about yourself (this doesn't always appear in the rules but it's a great idea, so let's go with it!)
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers who you believe deserve the award and who have fewer than 200 followers (again, the number of nominations vary as the nominations get passed around. I saw 5 in one blog and 'fewer than 3000 followers' in another!)
  5. Answer the 11 questions asked of you by the presenter (in your case that's me!)
  6. Ask 11 more questions of your nominees
So here we go.
11 Random Facts about Me
  1. My favourite book is The Hours by Michael Cunningham
  2. I love the colour Green
  3. I can't stand nosey people
  4. I've had the same hairdresser for over 30 years
  5. When I was 5 I cut off our neighbour's prize roses with a pen knife (She forgave me)
  6. I never owned a Chopper bike (boy did I want one!)
  7. If I could be anyone else it would be Roger Federer
  8. My first ever drawing at school was of a spider
  9. My favourite place is by the sea
  10. The sound of rain sends me to sleep
  11. My favourite grape is Tempranillo
Rachael's 11 Questions For Me Where:
Q: How long have you been blogging?
A: Since Monday 14th January 2013
Q: Why do you blog?
A: To keep writing. To be creative. To try to say something.

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of to date?
A: Getting through a mid-life crisis.

Q: What is your biggest fear?
A: Being old and alone.

Q: Who is your favourite author?
A: Christopher Hitchens.

Q: What is your favourite food?
A: Anything Italian!

Q: Where do you most want to go on holiday/travel?
A: That's easy - the USA.

Q: What is your favourite sport?
A: Tennis.

Q: What is your worst habit?
A: Checking I've locked the door 10 times!

Q: Are you planning to do the A-Z Blog Challenge and why?
A: I wasn't, but now you mention it I just might. Why? To see if I can.

Q: What do you most want to accomplish over the next 5 years?
A: I want to be a published writer.
My Nominees for the Liebster Award are:

Art Stuffs
Culture Cocktails
Travels of Note
A Smile Each Day
Let Me Be Frank
Nature Mama Narratives
Creative Objective
An Eye Through My Camera
Diary of a Ywhackabond

And my questions for you are:
  1. If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be?
  2. What was your biggest mistake?
  3. What was your happiest moment?
  4. What do you dislike most?
  5. Wine or Beer? Why?
  6. What was your favourite subject at school?
  7. Bach or Beatles? Why?
  8. If you won a million, what would you do with it?
  9. What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?
  10. Fact or fiction? Why?
  11. If you had one wish for the world, what would it be?
I really look forward to hearing what you have to say. I'll check in on your blogs from time to time. So over to you. I hope you will pay it forward.