Writing publicly inevitably means being seen, being open, being approachable.

Normally, I like to highlight issues and areas of life I am encountering or going through.

It is a revelation of a kind.

Now I am about to peel off a whole new layer of the onion.

Those who visit here often will know I haven’t exactly hidden much.

Today is a little different. I am lifting the lid on the weird, wacky, quirky parts of myself.

I am doing this purely because 3 friends kindly put me into the Liebster Award.

This is a way of highlighting and recognising smaller blogs, while introducing you to other bloggers and building community. Sounds great. 

Thanks very much to:

Rachel Edwards who first nominated me and triggered off the process.

Ruth Povey who seconded that and whose questions I had already made a stab at answering in draft form.

Amanda Fanger whose nomination and kind description of me as “a poet whose inspiring words always come at just the right time for me”, finally catapulted me into completing this!

They are all beautiful friends, writers and bloggers, each with their own unique style and perspective. Do click on the names to check out their great sites. 

Sorry it’s taken 3 separate nominations over the last few months to stir me into action! Please consider this my response to you all.

Here are The Rules (which seem to vary according to what you read):

  • Post 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer the questions the nominator has come up with for you
  • Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you have nominated
  • Choose other bloggers – (anything from 5 – 11 with under 200/300/500 followers) to nominate and link to them in your post
  • Go tell them about the nomination!
Eleven Random Facts:

1) Growing up, my family consisted of 1 non-identical twin sister,1 half brother, 7 half-sisters, plus 1 step sister and 2 step brothers.

2) I still bear scars from early childhood accidents: catching my thumb in a mangle, splitting my head open, falling on barbed wire and getting knocked down by a car. Just naturally clumsy I guess.

3) I used to eat odd things as a child: my cardigans, garden greenery, treacle sandwiches instead of Sunday lunch and baked beans for just about every meal. Thankfully, I grew out of my weird diet.

4) My favourite colour is purple. It makes me feel relaxed and I really need more of it in my wardrobe. Though teal is a close second, and I’m quite partial to…clothes in general.

5) Clinique’s ‘Aromatic Elixir’ and ‘Yria’ by Yves Rocher are 2 of my favourite fragrances.

6) I am sadly without a middle name – but open to all reasonable suggestions (apart from ones I give myself – eg Verbosity or Procrastinator)

7) I love scarves and necklaces (cheap and cheerful is fine) and feel naked going out without one or sometimes both together.

8) I’ve still got all my wisdom teeth – and a pathological fear of dentists.

9) Really dislike tapioca, liver, sprouts and mushrooms – for no particular reason apart from the taste and texture, the colour, the flavour..urrgh!

10) Love dark chocolate, fruit, anything my OH cooks…also aromatherapy oils, gels, candles –  though you’ll be relieved to hear I don’t eat those.

11) Hate heights, confined spaces, judgemental attitudes, victimisation of any kind.

Question Time:(These questions are from Ruth)

If you could meet you, but 10 years younger, what advice would you give yourself?
Put God first, family second, friends next and others after. Savour the moment. Live for today. Deal with stress before it consumes you. Enjoy the physical freedom you have. Believe you are loved, beautiful, special.

It’s been a rough day – do you need company, or time alone?
A bit of both. TLC from my Other Half is always welcome. Time to rest, heal, restore and renew is best done alone. Peace, Quiet and Dark are often an M.E sufferer’s best friends.

A book that changed you?
Tough one. All books affect us and change our perspective to some degree. Have read many self-help types as well as general fact and fiction, but the one book that has altered my life profoundly is the Bible.

Any recent embarrassing moments?
Er…too numerous to mention…let’s see..realising I hadn’t responded to the first 2 Liebster Blog nominations. And, I hate to say it, but I used to think that LOL meant ‘Lots of Love’ until I was corrected.

What does a typical Saturday look like for you?
Not so very different from any other day really. Our 2 sons are both married and we have a pretty constrained lifestyle due to my chronic sickness and my husband’s mental health problem. It is a day when sport/football captures most of his attention. We chill out as much as possible, maybe get a takeaway and watch a movie on Sky Premier. Time to relax mostly.

Favourite place to be, outside the house?
A coffee shop. Anywhere with friends or family. Or sitting by a river, near the sea, watching life go by. Love wildlife and people watching – actually not too dissimilar. 

How do you choose what to write about?
Usually the topics largely choose themselves. I always pray for guidance, inspiration and the wisdom to know what to write.  Keeping a notepad handy makes it easy to jot down random ideas/thoughts as they occur – even if I have to get out of bed sometimes – one never knows when inspiration will strike! I’ve found it really useful and challenging to be part of the God-sized dream this year, (as well as joining in with #FiveMinuteFriday and #concretewords) and write on set topics. 

Who inspires you?
Well, apart from the Holy Spirit, I would say almost anybody and anything. Could be from reading a book, blog post, tweet, message, listening to music etc. Try to remain open to any whispers of wisdom and insight that might cross my path.

What sort of music comes out of your speakers?
Mostly my Other Half’s choice which is pretty eclectic, including: Dragonforce, System of a Down, Third Day, Kutless, Newsboys. I enjoy some of these as well as Bob Dylan, Queen, Leonard Cohen, Phil Wickham and Casting Crowns among others.

How do you feel about roller-coasters?
Best avoided or tackled on an empty stomach.

Socks. Sensible or robots?
Have a mix. Silly and sensible. A bit like me.

Here is my list of nominees 

PS: I have no idea how many followers you actually have – no offence intended!

1) Lucy Mills – on faith, writing and life – one of my first blogging friends and a fellow M.E sufferer. I love her quirky and individual slant on life. Deep topics discussed with thought-provoking lightness of touch.

2) Lynda Alsford – random thoughts from an ex-parish evangelist – who has courage to ask the hard questions and battle through life’s challenges. I admire her faith wrought stronger through struggle.

3) Joan Hall – writes about life, love and faith – a lovely encourager who is refreshingly open about the writing process and enthusiastic about sharing her experiences to help others.

4) James Prescott – discovering hope in the messiness of life – one of the most encouraging and supportive people I know, even as he battles his own problems. A great friend, social media guru and gifted writer.

6) Dorothy.M. Stewart – about writing, life and God – a seasoned author (and preacher) who has the ability to write with empathy on hard times, sensitivity on delicate matters and with humorous simple enjoyment of life in general. Also a great encourager and supporter of other writers.

7) Helen Murray – because I’m just a child on a long journey – approaches life and faith with an open, inquiring mind and heart. I love her ability to invade the mind of biblical characters in her writing – just sublime.

8) Chris Morris – living a life of hope a really inspiring person as a bold and determined seeker of answers to life’s hard questions about sickness, pain and faith.

9) Debby Bolton – living better with an invisible illnessa great inspiration in how she endeavours to encourage others to live well with chronic illness, with her creativity spanning art, journalling and keeping the home clean.

10) Kelli Woodford – chronicles of grace a relatively new find for me on the blogosphere. Kelli writes transcendently about life, love and grace in the midst of bringing up her family. I love her expressive, grace-filled prose.

Here are your questions (courtesy of Amanda – tweaked a bit by me)

1) What’s your favourite food/drink/eating establishment?

2) If you watch television, what type of programme do you like best? Do you have a specific show or series you never miss?

3) What are the essential components of the writing process for you?

4) If you had to participate in something outside your comfort zone, what would it be?

5) What skill or trade would you like to learn or wish you had?

6) Pick a person, living or dead, you feel your ideals most clearly align with.

7) Pick a genre you don’t normally write in, but would like to, and say why you chose that one.

8) What motivates you? What is your passion? What gets you out of bed in the morning?

9) Aside from writing/blogging/social media/promoting, what else do you like to spend your time on?

10) If you could be anything, what would it be? (Let’s see how creative you REALLY are!)

11) What human characteristic or trait do you admire most?
PS:You can add a different Liebster Award badge/button to your blog than the one I’ve chosen here. There are quite a few available.

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