Tag Archives: Reflections-Awards

Award 16: LIEing BaSTERd AWARD

Award 16: LIEing BaSTERd AWARD

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Alex Raphael has nominated me for the LIEBSTER AWARD. Thank you, Alex. I am always delighted to be awarded an award. Alex’s blog is an entertainment, travel and lifestyle blog. Do visit!

And now for the answers to the eleven questions:

1. Which landmark do you wish was near you?

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I’ve always wanted to live in a Thomas Kinkade painting; perhaps one with a babbling brook and not too many mountains. And with ducks or geese splashing about, and flowers in the garden. Of course, the house would have to be warm, and I wouldn’t want too many bugs living in the thatched roof.

2. What was the last song you listened to, and which album have you listened to most in your lifetime?

This question is really two questions!

a. The last song I listened to was the Spanglish version of The Ketchup Song; the 2002 hit from the Spanish pop group Las Ketchup. This song is bright, breezy, and cheerful. And even though I distain ketchup as a sauce in real life, I enjoyed this song for its happy blob of life. (Incidentally, if you want something saucy, try my homemade Watermelon Rind Pickle).

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b. The album I would have listened to most in my lifetime would be the 1984 Talking Heads’ album, Stop Making Sense – especially Burning Down the House (hopefully not my thatched house in the Kinkade painting above).

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3. Which artist/band which is no longer possible to see live would you most want to have seen?

The artist whose concert I would most like to see would be Jacques Brel. For those who don’t know him, he was French, lived his later years in the Pacific’s Marquesas Islands, and is now dead. If you click on no other link in your lifetime, you must click on the Jacques Brel link above!

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4. Sentimentally speaking, which is your most prized possession

My favourite possession is a glass bowl. I use it for fruit salad and stuff like that.

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In 1937, my father was engaged to my mother. He thought he’d better introduce his fiancée to Great-Aunt Maggie Molloy. Great-Aunt Maggie took down this bowl from a shelf, wiped it on her apron, and said, here’s your engagement present.

She was married to Patrick Molloy. In 1869 Patrick was a trooper in the colonial forces. This was during the New Zealand Wars. Yes! New Zealand had civil war between 1845 and 1872.

Mickey Rogan was ordered to deliver a message a hundred miles away. His horse was lame, so they sent Patrick Molloy instead. When he returned, Patrick’s entire cavalry detachment had been slaughtered.

I always think of Mickey Rogan’s lame horse whenever I chop up stuff for a fruit salad.

5. What’s one surprising thing about yourself most people don’t know?

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If I had my life again, I would like to set up an insect zoo. It would be open to the public and be educational.

6. If you could only choose one food/drink and make it healthy, what would it be?

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Pork sausages. I love pork sausages. They are mostly (I suspect) made from bits of pork and fat that fell off the butcher’s chopping block and gets swept off the floor at the end of the day and stuffed into a sausage skin. But I still love them, and wish (how I wish!) they were healthy enough to have every day. I would eat them cold like a banana. Or hot with runny fried eggs and fatty bacon for lunch! And fried with mashed potato and peas for dinner. And as a snack mid-morning or afternoon and before bed. Yum!

7. If you could choose your own nickname, what would you want it to be?

At boarding school, all my brothers were known as Rangi. It was short for orangutan, because they were hairy! Upon my arrival, the nickname fell into abeyance for reasons of non-hirsuticalness. It’s not that I desired to be shaggy – after all I was like a marble statue of a Greek god – but I always felt that having a nickname was a mark of affection. I was simply known by everyone, as was the manner in those days, as Goodman.

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8. Is there a quote that has special significance for you?

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Flannery O’Connor is one of my literary heroes. I think she has the irony of a Jane Austen and the style of … of… a Flannery O’Connor. And she always has something worth saying. Quite my favourite American author. So I give three quotations which, at least for today, are my favourite quotations.

a. When in Rome, do as you done in Milledgeville.

b. Everywhere I go, I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.

c. When a book leaves your hands, it belongs to God. He may use it to save a few souls or to try a few others, but I think that for the writer to worry is to take over God’s business.

9. If you own any painting in the world, which one would it be?

I’m going to opt for a painting by an American artist called Dale Nichols, and it’s this one:

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It’s called The Last Load. It’s elemental, rustic, tempestuous, dramatic, distant, the sky! the space! the apparent simplicity of labour… The complexity of my response could keep tumbling out all day. Yes, I’ll accept it as a gift from whoever owns it! I shall hang it in my dining room!

10. Which Olympic event would you most want to be good at?

I think curling would suit me. It’s icy and involves a broomstick. And I like the pants.

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11. Which TV character would you most want to hang out with in real life?

To my shame, I think I’d like to hang out with the Cartwright family in Bonaza. If you’re not old enough, here is a who’s who:

Bonanza chronicled the weekly adventures of the Cartwright family, headed by the thrice-widowed patriarch Ben Cartwright. He had three sons, each by a different wife: the eldest was the urbane architect Adam Cartwright who built the ranch house; the second was the warm and lovable giant Eric “Hoss” Cartwright; and the youngest was the hotheaded and impetuous Joseph or “Little Joe”.

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Yee haw!

Further Nominations

As many of you know (and this is a little unfair perhaps) I don’t do nominations. But I like to recommend to others, other bloggers. It fulfils the intention of the Awards System anyway; sharing the insights of others with others… Here then are the six most recent bloggers who have begun to follow my blog. If they wish to accept this as a nominations and respond with the same questions, they are more than welcome! Thank you again Alex Raphael for the nomination.

Pinkiebag
A dairy/lactose free person who loves to eat and drink tea

Rob Powell Writes
Let’s see where this goes, starting with some short stories and flash fiction.

Rustic Recluse
A history buff, unrepentant foodie and a wandering traveller in search of great culture and freedom.

Polomi
Tales-Food-Life

The Lightning and the Fire
Let it come to life

Kelly Elizabeth Hatley
Having fun with my boys and sneezing out other snippets

Award 15: Like a dog

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I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award. I have had the joy of receiving this award before but, like a dog, return to lick the bowl. Thank you to Snapshot Vignettes for the nomination. Nonnaci, the blogger of Snapshot Vignettes, enjoys “coming up with new perspectives and weaving them into scenarios that would otherwise never see the light of day”. It is an honor – always – to be nominated.

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1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Add 7 facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 10 – 15 bloggers for the award…

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I thought I would share seven of some of the best places in the world where I have been to:

1. Wakarara

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This is where I lived as a kid. I knew every nook and cranny of the river. It is called the Makaroro River. The river would frequently flood, and the cliff face would crash into the river with a BOOM! My widowed Irish great grandmother bought a farm here, farmed it herself, and brought up her two daughters and four sons. They were a lot more adventuresome in them olden days!

2. Peka Peka

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This is where I lived as a teenager. We milked cows. It was near the sea. The land was sand hills and peat swamps. The house, sheds, and farm have given way to a new huge motorway system. Even if I wanted to revisit the place, it has been bulldozed away.

3. Tongatapu

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Years ago I had to go to Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga, situated on the main island of Tongatapu. One of the days was the King’s Birthday. The whole country went on a picnic! I thought the place was paradise. If you were thirsty someone would scale a coconut palm, grab a coconut, machete off the top, and pass the milk to drink. The food for the picnic was placed on the ground upon spread-out banana tree leaves. Everyone sat on the ground to eat – no plates, no knives and forks! A picnic! And then you could swim in the warm coral waters.

4. Walden Pond

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When I studied in Boston I would often drive to Walden Pond for a walk around the lake. The place reeked of literary giants! What a delightful place for reflection. And lots of water fowl and snakes curled up in the vegetation! So different for this little country boy from the backblocks of New Zealand!

5. Sonora Desert

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Was there ever a place so different? Heat, rocks, saguaro, cacti of all shapes, snakes, scorpions, lizards, road runners, coyotes… I loved, loved, loved the whole darn place!

6. Weston

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This is a little village and area in Vermont. Stone walls, chipmunks, apple trees, many a path diverging in a yellow wood… A friend owned a holiday home in the mountains, and I could go there and read Robert Frost whenever I wished. Always with the same condition: when in residence I must fly the American flag – which I gladly did!

7. Fürstenzell

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This is a little village and area in Bavaria. It has an ancient monastery and school. How different from anything I had seen before. The school library (pictured) was unbelievable. The buildings, inside and out, were optical illusions! I thought the colonnades of marble statues were real, until someone pointed out they were paintings on a flat wall! Cherubs literally tumbled from every church ceiling. Here was the milieu that produced Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven… I was totally out of my league as the “ignorant farmers” turned up at Christmas midnight and “performed” a Mozart Mass.

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As many of you know (and this is a little unfair perhaps) I don’t do nominations. But I like to recommend to others, other bloggers. It fulfils the intention of the Awards System anyway; sharing the insights of others with others… Here then are the ten most recent bloggers who have begun to follow my blog. If they wish to accept this as a nominations and respond, they are more than welcome! Thank you again Snapshot Vignettes for the nomination.

TanGental
Pratyushbat
BYLUIS7
Theycallmeaish
The Breakaway
Siddhidiksha
Althaea Rose
JGoodWithSports
Something Like a Storybook
Firewing Photography

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768. Lavinia’s blog

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My name is Lavinia. This is my blog. I call it Smudgy-Wudgy-Kitchy-Koo, Author. Here is today’s posting:

I would like to thank all my followers, and everyone who has given me a like. Without you no one would read my blog.

At the moment I have writer’s block. It’s terrible to be an author and have writer’s block. It’s when you can’t think of anything to say. That’s why I’m taking this opportunity to thank everyone who follows my blog, while I think of something to say.

Another thing I could do, while I have writers block, is to post some poems and to reblog my friends. Also, thank you to everyone who comments on my blog. I love getting comments and also on Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr and if anyone wants to reblog this I would appreciate it and also give you a like. I have been reblogged eight times by my friends.

Also I want to thank Partridge in a Peach Tree for nominating my blog as the Most Inspiring Blog on the Web!!!! I have to say forty-one things about myself and nominate twenty-seven other inspiring bloggers who also have the most inspiring blogs on the web. I shall answer those questions in a future posting. Partridge in a Peach Tree yah!

Thank you for reading. And to think!!! This is only my second posting.

Award 13: A pat on the back

(On an irrelevant note: For those interested – yeah, right, that’ll be a lot – all my past poems now have an audio. So if you go back and click on the poems, it’s possible to hear them poorly read! And now to the business at hand…)

 

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Once again, Oscar (I won’t call him my friend in this public forum because then this award might look like nepotism) of In So Many Words has conferred upon me an award which possibly must rank as one of the loveliest of all. It’s the

RESPECT AWARD!

The Respect Award can be given to fellow bloggers who consistently reach out to other bloggers, offer support, are kind, struggle to understand differences in people, and who treat themselves and other people with kindness and respect.

What a lovely thing to get!

The award picture itself is the work of photographer and artist Robert Goldstein who set the award up.

Thank you, Oscar.

You don’t have to do anything for this award. You can choose to copy the Award Picture and give the award to the people who have earned your respect or you can do nothing but glory in its bestowal.

I’m going to pass it on just to the one person. Sylvie posts twice – once in French (her native tongue) and once in English:

French – Poesie visuelle
English – Visual poetry

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My own French has a few limitations. When I lived in Quebec (and smoked) I could go into a shop and say “Marlboro” and the French-speaking shop attendant would hand me a packet of cigarettes. Does that count as being bi-lingual or what? And then, when the French-speaking landlord would visit he would say “Any spare navets?” and I’d give him a cabbage out of the garden. Pretty cool, eh?

Anyway, Sylvie deserves such a Respect Award. Apart from presenting her poems and writings and being a bridge from one language to another, she always supports the blogs of others whole-heartedly.

It’s a strange phrase, and I’m not sure how universal it is, but Sylvie is what we call “a hole in the wall” – it’s someone who enables others to pass freely from one cultural garden to another.

Merci, Sylvie.

Award 12: Blogger Interview Tag

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The inordinately kind Oscar Alejandro Plascencia of California (pictured) has nominated me for The Blogger Interview tag. This award is a means of getting to know the person behind the blog.

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Getting this nomination from Oscar is thrilling; it’s like Albert Einstein nominating a four year old for the Nobel Prize for Physics for creating a toppling dominoes arrangement. Thank you, kind lovely Oscar. Oscar’s blog, called In So Many Words, is an exploration in metrical writing of love, hope and faith, frequently with a gay theme. At present Oscar is engaged in a dream campaign for “Performer of the Year”, via the entertainment blog known as The Neighborhood in a one-of-a-kind online show called “A Star is Born”. He would undoubtedly appreciate your weekly vote. Please support him!

The rules of The Blogger Interview:
Mention the person who tagged you.
Answer the questions in full.
Tag up to ten bloggers.

The interview questions:

How did you get into blogging?

My partner has a translation business, translating chemistry safety procedures into over eighty languages. (He doesn’t translate them all himself! He’s only got nine languages! He has chemists all over the world doing the translations.) His website is on WordPress. I said I would manage it. What better way to learn how to do something than to do it! I set up my blog on WordPress. But what to write about? I shall write a story a day… I still managed the translation website, but my personal blog provided an interest.

Not long after starting the blog I slipped and broke my ankle (bending down to pat my cat on a slippery path) and got all sort of spiral fractures. Clots formed on the lungs. My limbs swelled like there was no tomorrow. They couldn’t operate. I had to lie on my back with my leg tied to the ceiling. They put pins in my ankle. My heart began to fibrillate. Basically, I was out of action for twelve months.

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But – OH MIRACLE! – at the beginning of all this my blog was Freshly Pressed on WordPress, for this story: It won’t last. I was getting over a thousand emails a day. I answered every one. What else was there to do? Within weeks I had over two thousand followers! Google the phrase “family picnic” and this story was number one: Family picnic.

And then the landlord, eager to return to his dwelling to live, gave me notice to move. I was encased in plaster! I could hardly move, let alone pack and carry boxes. The blog languished while I put things in cartons one hobble at a time. I lost so many friends on the blog. Christmas came and went. I had a Christmas tree but got no presents!! The landlord stole all our firewood and our two cows. We moved.

What advice would you give to a blogger just starting out?

Get yourself totally organized before starting. Work out your theme, chose a style, carefully select very particular pages and categories BEFORE beginning. Stick to them. I have two pages:

  1. About
  2. Home

And four categories:

  1. A Story a Day
  2. A Music Composition a Week
  3. A Poem a Month
  4. Awards.

There’s no good, for example, getting an award and shoving it under “Music” because you don’t know where to put it. I had to start blogging again from scratch, and lost the readers, because apart from the reasons given above it needed reorganizing.

I also find that regularity of posting is helpful. I watch the most wondrous blogs go down the gurgler because the author posts erratically. Likewise for those who post too often. There are poets who post twenty or thirty times a day. After a day you get sick of them. (They’re not actually poets; they’re just people who don’t know how to shut up.)

What would be your dream campaign?

I’m not sure what a campaign is! Does it mean: what is you methodology for getting more followers, more likes, more readers? I don’t think a campaign is necessary. If someone likes your blog they might tell a friend. Gradually over time you gather people who are interested. I’m back to plodding towards around three hundred followers since I started the blog again. I’d imagine it could reach a thousand by the end of the year.

Just be nice – I try to answer every comment. If you want to gather honey, don’t start by kicking over the beehive.

Having said all that, I would like to be Freshly Pressed again on WordPress. It was such a thrill, even though it meant an inordinate amount of work. It’s not so much the gaining of numbers as the exposure and the excitement of the moment!

Do you have a plan for your blog?

Yes. I want to write 1001 stories in 1001 consecutive days!  Why 1001? Because for 1001 nights Scheherazade in the Arabian Nights told stories to stay alive!

When they’re complete, I wish to join them together with some thread – in the manner of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, or The Decameron, or the Arabian Nights. These are collections of stories that have a linking plot joining the telling of each story. Once that is done, there’s no way anyone would publish 1001 stories! The book would be 1001 pages fat! So I guess I’ll simply trash them!

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Story-telling in the Decameron

I’m thinking next year, apart from continuing the daily story and the weekly piece of music, of increasing the poetry output from once a month, to once a week. I find the writing of poetry enormously challenging, and really in fact I need a new challenge. The lovely and down-to-earth and enormously gifted Cynthia Jobin is a constant source of both inspiration and challenge.

What do you think about rankings?

Bloomin’ heck! I don’t know what rankings are! I’m starting to feel a bit of an ignorant fool. Many years ago, I wrote a play called A Treatment of Thomas Chatterton’s Manic-Depressive Psychosis to the Accompaniment of Vivaldi. I was a teacher at the time. We performed the play at a High Schools Theatre Festival. At the end of the Festival it was announced that the competition had been won by A Treatment of Thomas Chatterton’s Manic-Depressive Psychosis to the Accompaniment of Vivaldi. We WON! We WON! The trouble was I didn’t even know it was a competition! We took home cups and trophies and shields like you wouldn’t believe.

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Scene from the Chatterton play

So I’m like this with ranking. I don’t actually know what it is!

Nominations:

I’m not nominating everybody I follow. Just a few. It is with great pleasure that I nominate these talented people:

Yvonne of Hello World

Lisa of arlingwords

Susanne of Wuthering Bites

Yinglan of A Simple Life

Poetry by Amit Rahman

Thanks again to Oscar Alejandro Plascencia of In So Many Words for the kindly encouragement.

 

Award 11: Aow, wouldn’t it be loverly?

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Aow, wouldn’t it be loverly?
Loverly, loverly, loverly, loverly
– “My Fair Lady”

Wendy of Ramblings and Musings has graciously bestowed upon my humble personage the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you, Wendy. Wendy’s blog is for “cultivating gratitude and sharing joy”. It certainly does that; more so for me with the nomination for this award! Wendy writes that the initial intention of her blog was to find something to be grateful for every day. Do visit!

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Here are the rules for accepting the One Lovely Blog Award:

1. Thank and give a link to the person who nominated you.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Share 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on their blogs to let them know. (I’ve suggested only 10).

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Since Halloween is about to shriek its gruesome face from out behind the door, I thought seven ghastly-ghostly chocolate-coated candies that have happened to me would be an appropriate seasonal gift. These are true:

1. I had poltergeist in the attic of my house. Noisy activity would begin exactly at 11 p.m. and cease at precisely 3 a.m.
2. Lights in the house would be turned on and off.
3. The toilet in the bathroom would flush on its own accord. One time an empty bath was filled with water; I heard it filling; I saw it filled.
4. Footsteps above my ceiling and on the staircase would tread up and down, ceaselessly; mercilessly.
5. A bunch of keys hanging on a bookcase hook would swing merrily without a gust of wind (or an earthquake). Doors would unlock and door handles turn of their own accord. Bang! Bang! Bang! Would slam the doors.
6. The luggage stored in the attic would get rearranged – nightly.
7. I was a sleepless wreck after three weeks. I asked a priest to come and bless the place. He said: “Don’t tell me! Not that house! Not again!” Anyway… they stopped…

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As some may know, I do not nominate, but I make recommendations to readers to increase the pleasure and wisdom of their lives by venturing possibly into an exploration of the blogs of others that they may have failed to notice! Here are 10 of the blogs I follow and am enriched by. I would list 15 if time was on my side… Some of these blogs are “Award-Free”, but presumably they are not agin intelligent people observinging their postings. If they wish to consider this recommendation as an award nomination, they are very welcome! I follow many more blogs, but these are the 10 that get a little push today:

1. Uma of One Grain Against the Storm presents a mélange of memoirs, fiction, short stories, verses, book reviews and uncorked angst. Here are examples of writing at its most evocative. It is a brilliant example of how the internet presents us with a universality of expression and experience.

2. Cindy Knoke has an award free blog. Cindy doesn’t simply take photographs; she captures the very essence of the subject. I’m sure too she has the gift of bilocation. There doesn’t seem to be a nook or cranny in this world that has not been captured! Fabulous!

3. A Note from Abroad features Joanne and Tim Joseph’s travels of the world. They leave a trail of descriptions and visuals that surely would make us all envious if we weren’t so nice! I’m amazed that they’re not forever bumping into Cindy Knoke (above)…

4. Yaz of The Falling Thoughts. Yaz is a travel enthusiast, who is multi-lingual – fluent in Arabic, English, and Spanish. (A bit like me, but I don’t have the Arabic and Spanish bits). I always find a surprising image hidden in a Yaz Poem – Let me move those clouds So you can feel the sun…

5. Oscar Alejandro Plascencia of In So Many Words presents a NOH8 scene where he posts poetry and thoughts often with a same gender leitmotif. Currently he is in the running to win the A Star is Born online competition, and would undoubtedly appreciate your weekly vote.

6. Chris at chrisnelson61 presents poetry, stories and some random words… He is a great and faithful support of the blogs of others too!

7. Pacificparatrooper is not just Pacific War era information. It is more than a boring list of wartime events. It is a tribute to the bravery of countless men and women who fought in war. GP Cox presents a daily tribute and a feast of stuff you never knew before…

8. Sarah Angleton’s blog at The Practical Historian is always well-researched, beautifully written, slightly odd-ball, and highly entertaining. One of the best blogs, surely, around. Award-free.

9. Cynthia Jobin is an unrecognized National Treasure. Her blog at littleoldladywho is a goldmine. Cynthia writes poems using traditional (and sometimes ancient) poetic forms using everyday language. There’s an audio of her reading them as well. Award-free.

10. Susanne at Redosue aims to take sometimes some of her previous postings and rethink, revisit, rewrite. The result is style with a great deal of panache.

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Thanks again, Wendy for the nomination.

Awards 8, 9 and 10: Semper tres

This was an old Latin adage from my school years at an all boys school: Raro solus, nunquam duo, semper tres – Rarely one, never two, always three. I have been nominated for three awards by Oscar Alejandro Plascencia of In So Many Words. Oscar’s site is a NOH8 scene where he posts poetry and thoughts often with a same gender leitmotif. He has honoured me with three awards all on top of one another.

The award images are posted below and include the Dragon’s Loyalty Award, the Liebster Award and the Beautiful Bloggers Award. The latter two have been gratefully received by me before. Getting all three at once is like having tuna nicoise crostini, roast pork, and amandes caramélisées au chocolat et au piment d’Espelette all on the same plate washed down with a few pickled anchovies and a splash of Egon Muller-Scharzhof Scharzhofberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese. Thank you, Oscar, for this delightful banquet.

Award 8: Dragon’s Loyalty Award

This award is given to loyal followers, commenters, or fans of your blog. The recipient can be a fellow blogger or a blog-free person who comments regularly.

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Award 9: Liebster Award

This award is named with a word of Germanic origin meaning: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, lovely, pleasant, valued, endearing… (Aha! I know it sounds like you!)

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Award 10: Beautiful Bloggers Award

This award is presented to recognize some of the beautiful bloggers we read for their hard work and inspiration.

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Rules, Regulations, Rubrics

Rules for all three are rolled into one.
1. Thank your nominator and link back to their blog.
2. Post your acceptance with images of awards and regulations.
3. Answer questions posed by your nominator.
4. State 5 interesting things about yourself.
5. Nominate 5 award-worthy bloggers.

Five interesting things about myself

1. In the car on the way to be born, at 3 in the morning, my parents had to stop and ask the milkman for directions. The milkman became a standard joke in my childhood.

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Whanganui, New Zealand

2. My birthday has always been celebrated the day after the actual date. No one – not even my parents – have a clue why.

3. I wet my pants while running a race at my primary school’s annual sports day. I was wearing light grey shorts.

4. I am a raging introvert. I will amiably attend social gatherings but will spend the entire time wanting it to be over.

5. Years ago now, I was teaching secondary school full-time, running a large boarding boys’ dormitory, coaching rugby and javelin, directing plays and musicals, and trying to finish my double degree at university. The night before the final university exam on British Commonwealth Literature I had not read a single required text all year. I went into the dormitory and asked for two volunteers. They sat on the floor until 3 a.m. in their pyjamas reading each book and telling me what each was about. One of the students is now the country’s Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister. I passed with an A+! Thanks Bill!

Five questions asked by my nominator:

1. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?
When I taught secondary school back in the 1970s my nickname was “Jagger”. Apparently I didn’t look dissimilar to Mick Jagger, which was a shame because I always thought he was rather ugly. It didn’t greatly matter because I frequently had the light off. These days I look more like James Dean. Well, I look like what James Dean would have looked like if he was still alive. Or maybe Zsa Zsa Gabor. Yes! Zsa Zsa! I can see why some mistakenly take me for Zsa Zsa – especially when it comes to brains.

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2. What story does your family always tell about you?
They “always” (often) (sometimes) tell how when milking cows in my teens, if one of my brothers got kicked by a cow they’d shout and swear profusely; whereas I was stoical. I would sweat pain and carry on milking. Oh to re-gather today some of that patient forbearance!

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View through my bedroom window. I know I’m sexy, but…

3. How do you relax when stress gets the better of you?
I go out into my garden and pull weeds. Such is the stress, my garden is weedless. Speaking of which, my first iris of spring came into flower yesterday. In the autumn I had bought a bag of 100 iris bulbs for $20. I had to get cash out and pay with that, else my spendthrift ways would be noted in the Bank Statement by others in my household. Now that the irises are all about to bloom, and the fact that they are so in-your-face, they will be noticed. Where did they come from? I’m getting stressed about it. I must go out and weed around the watsonias. Oh shucks! I’d bought a surreptitious bag of them too.

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4. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
The first volume – from conception to 18 years – would be called Bits of a Boyhood. The subtitle would be Growing up in rural New Zealand. Oh! Dear me! I think it’s already written. Why! Here it is! Bits of a Boyhood.

As to a second volume, I wouldn’t have a clue, but am trying to get to 1001 stories on my Story a Day–Weave a Web blog. I call them Cabbages. There’s a reason why they’re called Cabbages, and it’s explained here! When 1001 are written I’d like to tie the stories together with some loose plot in the manner of The Decameron or Canterbury Tales or Arabian Nights. Not that my stories are on a par with them, but you get the drift…

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5. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
My all-time favourite song is the Skye Boat Song:

Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
Onward! the sailors cry;
Carry the lad that’s born to be King
Over the sea to Skye.

 Loud the winds howl, loud the waves roar,
Thunderclouds rend the air;
Baffled, our foes stand by the shore,
Follow they will not dare.

It’s the tune that gets to me. I sang it as a kid and still sing it today when no one’s listening.

My mother was an opera singer so I grew up with a lot of coloratura singing going on in the background. Sort of

Val-deri,Val-dera,
Val-deri,
Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha
Val-deri,Val-dera
My knapsack on my back

but by Verdi.

My father sang in the car:

 If it ain’t gonna rain no more no more,
If it ain’t gonna rain no more,
How in the heck can I wash my neck
If it ain’t gonna rain no more?

Music-wise – songs included or not – the soundtrack of my life is Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. I was obsessed by it as a kid, and I still am today.

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Dancing the “Rite of Spring”

Loyal, Liebster, and Beautiful Nominees

Because three awards in fact are rolled into one, which is a little unfair, I’m not going to further the confusion by nominating others. Let each single award echo down its own corridor. This is a slight copout on my behalf, but…

… although I’m not going to nominate, I’m going to recommend five from a great list of my favourite bloggers. I think they’re worth visiting. Please don’t be offended if I haven’t recommended you! It’s not that I hate your guts; it’s just that … whatever…

1. Harvesting Hecate:
Andrea writes the best prose this side of the black stump. It not only contains seeds of wisdom, but it is lyrical, evocative, breath-taking, and (dare I say it) spell-binding.

2. Wolfberryknits: Adventures in Creativity:
I never thought I’d be interested in selecting wool and knitting and stuff. Try and see if you don’t get hooked. And life is lived in an old train!

3. Yvonne at Hello World  writes: Come along with me, an ordinary person, to see what I see, to go where I go. As always, the ordinary when well-written can be charming, captivating, delightful.

4. Arlingwoman at arlingwords writes about Arlington and Washington surrounds. It’s all at once homely, lovely, and fascinating.

5. Noelle at Saylingaway writes about various things from various perspectives, but I especially enjoy her Plymouth (USA) postings. Plymouth rocks!!

Thank you again, dear Oscar, for the triple nomination. Don’t hesitate to visit the five blogs I recommended. They are worth the visit I reckon.

Awards 5 and 6: A six hundred and forty-nine day Streak plus three

© Bruce Goodman 22 July 2015

Award 5: I have a propensity to enjoy my own company more than enjoy the company of other people. I want a lonely house with sprawling lawns and weeping willows leading to a lake with floating swans. I would like gardens full of flowers and vegetables, and always sunshine, and no visitors to disturb my reclusivity.

pump

That’s why I’m delighted with this non-award which I think is from WordPress. It appeared out of nowhere in my viewing column on my thingy. It says “You’ve posted 649 days in a row! Keep up the good work!” and comes with a badge. Why 649 is to be celebrated I have no idea, but I shall have a drink on it nonetheless, and another, and then Streak quickly around the house. So thanks to whoever.

daily-streak-1x

Award 6: Not an award as such but there is one thing I would dearly love to have been nominated for, but haven’t been specifically, and that’s Three Days – Three Quotations. But the nominator said (paraphrased) “if you wanna do it, do it”, so I shall. The nominator was The Contented Crafter. Pauline (The Contented Crafter) is one of those extraordinary supportive bloggers with ever a kind and encouraging and insightful word. And she lives in Dunedin, New Zealand, so she also deserves our consoling support!

Another thing about this Three Days – Three Quotations is that all rules seem to have gone out the window, which suits my current state of solipsism, so I don’t feel the need to nominate, and I’m going to post all three quotations at once – just to be singular. The first quotation is by me and the second and third by Hilaire Belloc.

Quotation 1:

If more people generously donated their organs I’d still be alive today.

Quotation 2:

When I am gone
Let it be said:
His sins were scarlet,
But his books were read.

Quotation 3:

Of all fatiguing, futile, empty trades, the worst, I suppose, is writing about writing.

writing

Awards 2 and 3: Both neat and beautiful

© Bruce Goodman 22 June 2015

I have been nominated for two awards by Alex Raphael: the Real Neat Blog Award and the Beautiful Bloggers Award. I blush with pride. Thank you, Alex. Click on his name and you’ll fly magically to his site.

Nomination 2 & 3. The Real Neat Blog Award and the Beautiful Bloggers Award.

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Incidentally, the badges for these awards have been tidied up (marvellously recreated would be a better term) by Oscar Alejandro Plascencia at In So Many Words.

As part of accepting, I must needs answer 10 questions and then pass the torch to other bloggers.

First, the ten questions I am to answer:

1. If you could own one painting, which one would you choose and why?

I’m “old fashioned” when it comes to selecting a painting. I like a painting I can go and live in. So my selected favorite would probably be something out of the American tradition, such as some sort of rural scene with lots of chickens and pigs and farmyard barns – sort of like this one by Kenneth Andler.

andler

2. Which literary character would you most like to hang out with?

Heathcliff from “Wuthering Heights”, provided he didn’t go on and on forever mooching about Cathy.

heathcliff

3. Have you ever gone in costume for a fancy dress party? What did you go as?

I once went to a fancy dress party dressed as a tube of toothpaste. I won the overall prize and also got squeezed in a number of exciting ways.

toothtube

4. What is your favorite thing that anyone has ever said about your blog?

“Why are these stories not published?”

blogpub

5. Which sporting moment would you most like to have seen live?

I would like to have been there when the early Olympics were held in Ancient Greece. Apparently everyone competed in the nude, which might have proved entertaining.

olympics

6. What film do you hate that most people like?

“The Lord of the Rings” ones, followed closely by “The Hobbit” trilogy. All of these are beaten by every attempt to make a film out of “Wuthering Heights”. In general, I dislike films based on novels; it destroys the imagination.

lordofjackson

7. What item in your room has most sentimental value?

My paternal grandfather’s ashtray. I don’t smoke but I keep in it seeds from various plants that I’m drying and will plant in the spring. At present I have pumpkin seeds in it. It’s an ashtray that advertises Buchanan’s “Black and White” Whiskey. My grandfather died in 1951. I do not remember him.

ashtraybnw

8. What did you want to be when you were a child?

I always wanted to be a marine biologist. We lived 60 miles from the sea, high in the mountains. I used to collect the “sea-shells” embedded in the rocks way up in the mountains. They were millions of years old, obviously, but I tried to identify them from pictures in books. When I was 5 or 6 I visited the beach for the first time and discovered where the rock-bound sea-shells started out.

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9. Which famous landmark would you most like to live near to?

I would like to live near the Concord Bridge, Massachusetts. It’s where the Revolutionary War supposedly began in April 1775. It’s also near Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau lived, as did Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Alcott Sisters. Also Charles Ives wrote “Concord Sonata” for piano, which captures the place in music.

concord

10. What one interest do you have that would surprise most of your blog readers?

I have a worm farm.

worms

Secondly, the ten questions for nominees:

1. What are you currently reading, if anything?
2. Who is (currently, like now) your favorite author?
3. Who is (currently, like now) your favorite composer?
4. Who is (currently, like now) your favorite artist/painter?
5. What is (currently, like now) your favorite flower?
6. Where in the world would you most like to live?
7. Name an embarrassing memory you’d like to go away.
8. How do you fill in the time at home on a cold, rainy day?
9 & 10 together because this is a big one. Say in no uncertain terms what you think of the Tax Department.

I realize that not everyone likes awards. May the nominees below feel free to dismiss their nomination with a “Humbug!”

Oscar Relentos
FärgaregårdsAnna – Annas Art
A Simple Life
In So Many Words
Zombie Flamingoes
Visual Poetry